Cooperative Security (COOPSEC) is an international military exercise that was conducted within the CEDC framework in 2017 and 2019. Both editions of the exercise focused on migration movement in the region and the Armed Forces’ role in addressing this issue, in line with national responsibilities. Overall, the exercises contribute to developing and/or strengthening synergies on a regional level, common understanding of migration challenges and increased inter-regional cooperation.
Building on lessons learned from the 2015/2016 migration flows through Central Europe, COOPSEC 17 was organised as a means to improve coordination among Ministries of Defence when it came to addressing this regional issue. Both a Table Top Workshop and a week-long joint Field Training Exercise were carried out, all within the Armed Forces’ mandate to support law enforcement in their efforts.
In 2019, the COOPSEC exercise scenario was broadened both in terms of content and participation. Again focusing on migration movement, governmental institutions such as the Police, Border Guard and other civilian institutions, such as national healthcare bodies, took part in the second edition of COOPSEC. Additionally, observers from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia took part in the exercise. Consisting of a Command Post Exercise and a Field Training Exercise, the exercise was a successful operation of a joint multinational military and police forces working together to address a common threat. The topic drew international attention in the region. Both high-ranking visitors from CEDC countries and defence attachés from the Western Balkan countries attended the Distinguished Visitors’ Day and the Closing Ceremony of the exercise.
In accordance with the civilian authorities’ needs and national legislations’ provisions, COOPSEC is a practical portrayal that the Armed Forces of the CEDC states continue to be prepared to support and assist the police forces in ensuring safety of our citizens.