Exercise “Jackal Stone 09″ – hosted by Croatia from September 10 to 29 – brought together more than 1 thousand special operations forces personnel. The tradition began with the „Shamrock Key 06″ exercise for special operations forces that were held in Lithuania in 2006. The Jackal Stone exercise is organised by Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) in a different NATO state on an annual basis – with the numbers of states and soldiers participating in the exercise growing each year.This year’s exercise featured 7 NATO members: Lithuania, Albania, the US, Poland, Croatia, Romania, and Hungary; and three partner states – Macedonia, Sweden, and Ukraine. The purpose of Jackal Stone 09, co-organized by the Special Operations Battalion of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces and U.S Special Operations Command Europe, is to enhance capabilities and interoperability amongst the participating special operations forces and build mutual respect while sharing doctrinal concepts. Cooperation of special operations forces at international level is crucial in pursuing NATO’s purpose – concerted actions by special operations forces of NATO member states in any part of the world in case necessity arises (as amply illustrated by the ongoing ISAF mission in Afghanistan).