Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dragão 08: Portuguese and Spanish troops train crisis response

The Dragão 08 is the main military exercise of the Brigada de Intervenção (Intervention Brigade, the medium brigade of the Portuguese Army). The last edition has included the participation of Spanish troops from the BRILAT as part of the Sagitário 08 - which took place along with the Dragão 08.

In short, the Dragão 08 has comprised to phases: the first one, in April, was basicly a command post exercise (CPX, check the article in Defesa Net); the second one, was a field training exercise (FTX). The FTX has involved 1.135 men and 160 tactical vehicles, inclunding 27 armoured vehicles (12 V-150 with a 90mm gun; 13 Chaimite V-200 personnel carriers; 2 Chaimite V-600 armed with a 81mm mortar). The field manoeuvres took place in the mountainous region of Vila Pouca de Aguiar, north of Portugal.

The Dragão 08 has allowed to the Brigada de Intervenção the trainning of a crisis response response, as well as joint operations with foreing troops.

In the last ten years, the brigade mobilized more than 4.000 men and 11 units in several peacekeeping missions. This was the case of the missions in Bósnia, Kosovo and East Timor. Currently, it has an unit of military engineers deployed in Liban and is preparing a combat unit for a mission in Kosovo.

A V-150 armoured vehicle, armed with a 90mm gun, during field manoeuvres. The Brigada de Intervenção also operates the Chaimite armoured vehicle in both troop carrier (V-200) and mortar carrier (V-600) variants [click to enlarge].

An image of the stressful and demanding command post exercise which simulated the defence against a conventional threat [click to enlarge].

A Spanish soldier from the BRILAT. Around 100 Spanish troops (infantry) have been involved with the second phase of the Dragão 08 [click to enlarge].

Reports published in the Brazilian website Defesa Net:

Pedro Monteiro

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