On Friday, October 15, U.S. Embassy Sarajevo hosted an emergency preparedness exercise with its Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) emergency services partners. The exercise, dubbed “Operation Alliance Shield,” emphasized the training, coordination, and capabilities of BiH emergency services first responders. It has incorporated a simulation that addresses a real-world safety and security event, where the Embassy community and first responders work together to ensure the welfare and protection of all impacted. It has highlighted the response capacity of the elements that support the Embassy in emergency situations.
Emergency services partners include the Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies (DCPB), Sarajevo Canton Police and emergency services, the Federation of BiH Ministry of Interior Police (FMUP), and the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA). This exercise is a further example of the excellent cooperation between the Embassy and the BiH first responders that support it. Operation Alliance Shield is the culmination of months of training and planning by the U.S. Embassy’s Regional Security Office (RSO), the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), and our BiH security partners. Joint training and exercises, such as this one, are a vital element in providing a safe community.
This joint exercise is important to ensure the readiness of Embassy personnel as well as our BiH partners, to increase our preparedness for any situation, and to reduce and mitigate confusion and the possibility of injury in the event of a future, real-life scenario. It also serves to establish command and control and streamline communication for faster response capabilities. The Embassy has conducted similar drills in the past and routinely conducts this type of drill at all of our Missions worldwide.