Among the planned exercises of the Turkish Armed Forces, the EFES 2010 Live Fire Joint Exercise was successfully carried out this year unde

Date: Issue 22 - September 2010

Realized with the highest level coordination of all elements in the General Staff, the EFES 2010 Live Fire Joint Exercise saw the application in which two fictious countries “Saf?r” and “Mecra” unable to resolve the problems between them through peaceful means and following a tense period apply their plans according to a generic scenario.
The Exercise’s night phase which was open for the first time to members of the media, after a briefing on the execution of activities, commenced with the landing of the SAT and SAS commandos from the sea and Special Forces Command personnel from the air. The Special Forces Command personnel parachuting from the air infiltrated to the area of operations. Infiltrating to the enemy lines, the teams destroyed the enemy’s radars. Following this, the “IHA” vehicle, whose project was carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces, was introduced for the first time. Built by Kale Baykar company, the small unmanned airborne vehicle that can reach an altitude of 300 meters and with the thermal and day cameras attached to it, can relay views without any hindrance from a distance of 20 km to the control center, took an active part during the exercise. Compared to the American and Israeli made unmanned airborne vehicles, the IHA undertook the tactical air reconnaissance duties in the exercise area. Subsequently, the F-4 aircrafts attached to the Air Force Command also undertook reconnaissance flights and with the support of attack helicopters, an air attack exercise was conducted. The F-16 jets bombed designated targets. After the operations and air defence carried out by the elements of the Special Forces Command with close air support, the Barbaros frigate conducted sea artillery and attack helicopter firing. The Cobra helicopters undertook bombing of the area. Firing was conducted with 105 and 155 mm howitzers and units to undertake operations neared the coastline.
After the night exercise that was realized successfully with the participation of the media for the first time, the day exercise phase saw the Air Force Command’s close air support to the amphibious assault landing. Two F-16 jets attacked the enemy’s armored unit convoy and interrupted firing to the coast was realized by machine gun and bombs from the C-147 landing craft. Units advancing from the coast undertook firing with machine guns, infantry rifles, grenade launchers, LAW’s and bazookas. After artillery fire, two amphibious infantry battalions from the marine amphibious brigade carried by Sikorski and Cougar helicopters and with one tank battalion having reached the coast, the assault units landing from the sea and from the air combined to take the targets assigned to them. Afterwards, the live fire stage of the exercise came to a conclusion.
During the exercise, in particular during the air assault, the amphibious and air operations, the coordination of support fire, the electronic warfare, the special forces operations, the CBRN operations, the battlefield search and rescue and the air medical evacuation operations were conducted both night and day. Aside from this, the new arms and systems that recently entered the Turkish Armed Forces inventory were used effectively in this exercise.
It was stated that the EFES 2010 Live Fire Joint Exercise was executed in order to develop the joint exercise capabilities in a common operational environment; to oversee the cooperation methods; to execute the basic training involving battle duties, to exercise the command and control systems and to develop the administrative abilities of commanders and leaders at every level.
In the EFES 2010 Live Fire Joint Exercise, 2 motorized battalions, 1 tank battalion, 33 helicopters, 45 boats, 1 unmanned airborne vehicle from the Land Forces Command; 47 various ships, 2 amphibious marine battalions from the Landing Fleet Command of the Naval Forces Command; 46 combat aircraft, 4 transport planes and 1 electronic intelligence aircraft from the Air Force Command; 3 Special Forces teams from the Special Forces Command and a total of 6,963 personnel took part including the Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command.
The first holographic map carried out with the joint cooperation of the Mapping General Command and MTM A.?. and developed entirely by Turkish engineers was also another first executed in this exercise by the Turkish Armed Forces. Considered as revolutionary in the field of mapping where 3D geographical information is recorded with lasers on a special film 0.2 mm thick, this new technology, it has been stated, will provide the Turkish Armed Forces with new opportunities and capabilities in the field of mapping in the future.
In remarks delivered by the Chief of Staff after the exercise, General ?lker Ba?bu? thanked the personnel taking part in the EFES 2010 Joint Exercise and stated that as the most important factor for the armed forces, joint together with night operations were executed in the best possible manner.
Stating that the Turkish Armed Forces had to a significant extent increased its fire power due to the weapon systems obtained in the last 10-15 years, General Ba?bu? said the following:
“The main duty of the Armed Forces is to protect the peace without firing a single bullet and to be the protector of the country’s national interests. It must not be forgetting that the last person wanting a war or a conflict is a soldier. If you sweat during peace time, you will shed less blood during war. For this reason training is very important. I want to congratulate and thank those whose labor has gone into this exercise from the private on up to the general and admiral.”
Emphasizing that the actual number of personal participating in the exercise was close to 7,000, General Ba?bu? stated that: “These exercises, in terms of the weapons, vehicles and equipment and personnel may be among the largest exercises of its kind executed in the world. The Turkish Armed Forces, at the same time, through all its elements is among the leading armies in the world in terms of executing night operations. We cannot say there are many armies at the same level. The point the Turkish Armed Forces has reached is far above that can be envisaged. It has provided us with security and peace. We are at a point we would not have thought possible 10-15 years ago.”