Joint drills by the Serbian and Russian air forces are taking place on a daily basis in the Serbian sky, since October 1st, and after a technical agreement was signed by the Exercise manager Brigadier General Željko Bilić, Commander of the 204th Air Brigade (on behalf of Serbia) and Deputy Exercise manager Colonel Konstantin Surikov (on behalf of Russia), at the Batajnica airfield, near Belgrade.
The exercise is called BARS-2018 and its goal is to train both countries’ pilots in coping with extreme situations.
MIG-29, two-seater, Serbian Air Force aircraft are used. Each two-man crew (of every jet) is made up of a Russian and a Serb pilot. The pilots also fly M17 helicopters.
Both with the jets and with the helicopters they carry out various tactical drills in the air which aim to offer them fresh knowledge of new techniques.
The drills take place between October 1-6 and both air forces have the opportunity to exchange experience and learn new techniques. This is the 4th time such drills have taken place, with previous drills having been held twice before in Russia; with this being the second time in Serbia.
The Russian deputy governor of the exercise, Kostantin Surikov, said at a press conference that “the main goal of this year’s exercise is not so much to train pilots but to prepare them to be able to carry out joint missions in mixed crews.”
The Bars Air Traffic is a regular exercise taking place once a year since 2015.
Its name derives from the acronym of the words that make up the phrase: Bratsvo Aviatičara Rusije Srbije (Russia-Serbia Airforce Brotherhood).
Exercise manager Brigadier General Željko Bilić (R) Commander of the 204th Air Brigade, and Deputy Exercise manager Colonel Konstantin Surikov of Russia sign the agreement
The joint exercise is held alternately by the two countries -one year in Russia the next in Serbia- and lasts six days.
This year’s exercise will run until October 6…. / IBNA