Members of the Serbian Army tank crews managed to advance to the semifinals of the Tank Biathlon, held at the Alabino training ground near Moscow - after facing strong competition from tank crews from 23 countries.
In three individual races, the Serbian Army team demonstrated enviable skills in driving, overcoming obstacles and precision shooting, which brought them to the semifinals.
Commander of the 2nd Land Army Brigade, Brigadier General Zeljko Kuzmanovic, who leads our crew and is a referee at this year's International Army Games, is pleased with the result.
"The implementation of the first phase of the tank biathlon has shown that all participating countries prepared their tank crews well, so the competition was extremely strong. Unlike in previous competitions, this time fractions of a second decided on who would advance to the semifinals. We also noticed some mistakes and omissions made by the members of our crews, which we will endeavor to eliminate to make the success of our team even greater," said Brigadier General Kuzmanovic.
Lieutenant Colonel Rade Adamovic, team leader for the tank biathlon and the competition's chief referee, explained that this year the teams are divided into two groups according to quality and that, unlike in previous years, the semifinal group consists of eight, rather than 12 teams.
"It's characteristic that in this year's competition a world record was broken, and that most teams have achieved the best results since the competition has been held. Our performance in individual races was marked by the desire, will and perseverance of crew members to overcome the problems they had, which led them to the semifinals. I'm certain that we will also prepare well for the semifinal race and give it our best, and even more than that, in order to achieve the best possible result," underlined Lieutenant Colonel Adamovic.
The Tank Biathlon is one of 32 military disciplines at this year's 5th International Army Games, which are being held simultaneously on 21 training ranges in ten countries, from August 3 until August 17: in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. The number of participants exceeds 5,000, comprising 223 teams from 39 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, Central and South America.
According to the rules, each army takes part with three tank crews in individual qualifying races, while there's also one reserve crew.
Their task is to cross the track in the shortest possible time and solve challenging but difficult tasks: master the maneuvering grounds, the so-called "snake," fill up the revolving transporter, shoot from the cannon, cross a water barrier, overcome a hill, make it through an anti-tank trench, a concrete bridge, a minefield, master a steep slope, cross a 90-centimeter tall vertical wall, and shoot targets from the tank cannon and the anti-aircraft machine gun.
Adding up the time of all three crews from this first phase of the competition determines the most successful eight teams, who advance to the semifinals.
The Serbian Army team is continuing its participation in the Tank Biathlon on August 10 in the semifinals, in a group with China, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, while Russia, Belarus, Mongolia and Venezuela make up the other semifinal group. The tank biathlon ends on August 17 when the winners will be announced during the closing ceremony of this year's International Army Games.
During the Games, the participating countries also presented the peculiarities of their cultural identity in the House of Friendship at the Alabino Ranges. At the National Culture Festival, Serbia is represented by four members of the Stanislav Binicki Art Ensemble, who will take part in both the festival and the competing segments.
The first International Army Games were organized in 2015, at the initiative of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and the event is among the largest military-sports competitions in the world. The opening ceremony of this year's military games was also attended by Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Army General Milan Mojsilovic.
Serbian Army representatives participate in the 2019 International Army Games in three disciplines: Tank Biathlon, Military Rally and Sniper Border. The first two take place in Russia and the third in Belarus.
The biggest successes so far achieved by members of the Serbian Army was in 2015, when they arrived third in the tank biathlon, behind Russia and China. Last year in the sniper border competition, Lieutenant Djordje Lapcevic won the first place competing with 18 mixed sniper pairs.
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