Home > Special Forces > STRONG BALKAN 23 ~ NATO Special Operations Forces

STRONG BALKAN 23 ~ NATO Special Operations Forces

Exercise STRONG BALKAN 23 [© NATO Multimedia]

Exercise STRONG BALKAN 23 saw NATO SOF (Special Operations Forces) from seven nations train together in Albania.

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Special Operations Forces from seven NATO Allies recently took part in exercise ‘STRONG BALKAN 23’.

Exercise ‘STRONG BALKAN 23’ was held in Albania from 31 October to 10 November. It featured Special Operations Forces (SOF ~ from seven NATO Allies including Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Türkiye as well as observers from NATO partner Bosnia and Herzegovina. The exercise saw the forces train in complex scenarios such as freefall parachute jumping, fast-roping from helicopters, vehicle interdiction, sniping and building clearance.

The aim of the exercise was to further strengthen cooperation among different Allied SOF units with regard to today’s security challenges. It was the first time for Albania to host this annual exercise.

Exercise STRONG BALKAN 23 [© NATO Multimedia]

This NATO Multimedia footage, captured earlier in November and released yesterday, includes various shots of Special Operations Forces from contributing nations training together in freefall parachute jumping, fast-roping, vehicle interdiction, sniping and building clearance.

Shot list ~ some clips are mute:-

  • 00:00 ~ Exercise area in Albania
  • 00:21 ~ NATO and Albanian flags blowing in the wind
  • 00:39 ~ National patches on arms of soldiers including Albanian, Greek, Montenegrin and Turkish
  • 00:54 ~ Special Operations Forces (SOF) soldier gives a preliminary briefing to other SOF soldiers
  • 01:19 ~ Turkish Chinook helicopter arrives at exercise area to pick up SOF parachuters from various nations
  • 01:50 ~ SOF parachuter delivers briefing before boarding the helicopter
  • 02:01 ~ SOF parachuters from various nations walk out to, and board, Chinook helicopter
  • 02:46 ~ Chinook helicopter in flight
  • 03:03 ~ Paratroopers from various nations leap out of the back of the Chinook above the training area in Albania
  • 03:43 ~ SOF paratroopers from various nations land at the training area
  • 04:14 ~ SOF snipers fire at targets during the exercise
  • 04:46 ~ SOF troops from various nations storm a building during the exercise
  • 05:41 ~ Albanian armoured vehicles conduct training during the exercise
  • 06:14 ~ Albanian armoured vehicles in motion during the exercise
  • 06:33 ~ Turkish Black Hawk helicopter in flight
  • 06:40 ~ SOF troops from various nations practise helicopter search and rescue and fast-roping exercises
  • 07:21 ~ Turkish Black Hawk helicopters in flight
  • 07:57 ~ SOF parachuters from various nations carry their national flags as they parachute down, the following countries are represented: Türkiye, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Albania.
  • 08:50 ~ SOF parachuter collects his parachute at sunset
  • 09:01 ~ Soundbite (Albanian) – Lieutenant Colonel Ajet Jata, Albanian Special Operations Regiment Commander: “These Special Forces, special groups have been integrated with each other. So the group was a mix from different countries. We have seen special actions from the air, i.e. freefall parachutes, actions with fast rope helicopters, object strikes, operational actions with snipers, destruction of doors and objects and other actions such as interdiction against a vehicle. Or other individual and collective special tactical actions carried out by Special Forces.”
  • 09:33 ~ Soundbite – Lieutenant Colonel Ajet Jata: “This exercise aims to achieve several objectives, such as military cooperation between these countries, to increase the professional skills of the operators who take part in the exercise, the exchange of experiences, and the building of cooperation and friendship between the special operators of these countries.”
  • 09:54 ~ Lieutenant Colonel Ajet Jata: “This is an important exercise from the NATO perspective as it unites these countries to develop a special force and by bringing these forces together they increase cooperation to act and operate in different missions.”

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