By Maj. Tony Keene
First published in
SFOR Informer#126, November 14, 2001
Soldiers of the Armed Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina
(AF BiH) are working side by side with SFOR troops to move huge
amounts of ammunition and weapons from unsafe or unnecessary storage
Banja Luka - So far, more than 120 sites within
the area of operations of Multinational Division Southwest (MND-SW)
have been reduced to fewer than 70. Those remaining sites are
safer, more efficient, and can be guarded and maintained by fewer
"We see this operation tying in nicely with plans by the
AF BiH to reduce their troop strengths even further than they
have so far," said Canadian Lt. Col. Dan Menard, the head
of Joint Military Affairs (JMA) for MND-SW. "Fewer sites
means fewer soldiers neededthat means eventually less money spent
on the military that will be available for civil infrastructure
and social programmes."
Greek heavy lift truckers of the Hellenic Transportation Battalion,
based in Visoko, played a major role in the operation. They moved
170 tonnes of ammunition from a temporary storage site at Glamoc,
to two other sites, one at Donji Vakuf and another at Pazaric
Krupa in the MND-SE area of operations.
"The AF BiH forces have the troops to do the job, but not
the heavy lift capability, so we were able to supply that,"
said Canadian Maj. Stephane Damato, plans officer in the JMA section.
"We are now planning the final stages of the operation, and
everything should be complete by the middle of November."
As well as reducing the number of sites, Operation GAUNTLET is
also separating ammunition from the weapons, which is the normal
practice for NATO nations. Some buildings, which were being used
as storage sites, belong to municipalities. They include schools,
businesses and community centres, which can now be returned to
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