News Briefs – October 7, 2016

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EU forces, NATO and Bosnian Army conduct exercise in Bosnia

MANJACA, Bosnia-Herzegovina–The European Union Force deployed in Bosnia, NATO troops from neighboring Kosovo and soldiers of the Bosnian Army have concluded their days-long exercise designed to show how effectively they can act if needed.
A EUFOR statement said Oct. 5 the “Quick Response 2016” exercise included a fictional scenario in which soldiers had to securely escort VIPs and handle civil riots using armored vehicles, sniper teams and even air support.
Some 750 soldiers and 70 vehicles took part in the drill, showing off what they can do and how fast they can be called upon.
After Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, more than 60,000 troops deployed throughout the country to secure the peace. In 2004 the peacekeeping mandate was handed over to the EU, which currently has 600 soldiers on the ground. AP
 

Czech army to deploy medical personnel, instructors in Iraq

The Czech government has approved a plan to send medical personnel and additional military instructors to Iraq.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Oct. 5 that the initiative is part of international efforts to help Iraq fight Islamic State militants.
The Defense Ministry says a surgical field team of up to 17 people will be sent to a U.S. Navy’s base located some 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of Mosul and treat injured Iraqi and coalition soldiers.
In 2017, the country will also be in a position to deploy instructors to Iraq depending on the needs of the Iraqi armed forces. Earlier this year, the Czechs deployed 31 instructors to Iraq to train pilots for Czech-made planes.
The deployment still requires parliamentary approval. AP
 

Poles end talks on multibillion deal with Airbus Helicopters

Poland’s government says it is breaking off talks with Airbus Helicopters on an offset deal that was linked to a broader, multi-billion-euro agreement to buy helicopters for the army.
The offset deal had been one of the conditions for Poland’s purchase of 50 Caracal helicopters for 13.5 billion zlotys (3.14 billion euros), meaning that the entire deal has been shelved.
Poland’s Development Ministry said late Oct. 4 that the negotiating position of the two sides was so different that “further talks are pointless.”
The decision to buy the helicopters from Airbus was made by the previous government, led by the pro-European Civic Platform party, in an effort to modernize the military. The conservative Law and Justice party had indicated it might cancel the deal when it won elections last year. AP

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