Emerald Expedition: a gem of a challenge
Capt. Rhoda Frampton
First published in
SFOR Informer#138, May 9, 2002
Wet, windy and winding is what approximately 300 SFOR
military personnel from eight different nations stationed
throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina braved on April 17, during
Bugojno - The Expedition took place in Multinational Division
Southwest (MND-SW) on what is known as route Emerald, a 35-km
trek from the Dutch based units of Bugojno and Novi Travnik.
This event was organised by Lt. Marnix Felius and Sgt. Maj.
Smits. "It was the idea of Pte. Labaar, he wanted to
have a road march and have T-shirts, " said Felius. All
three are based in Novi Travnik.
From 0830 hours to 1645 hours
This was a first time endeavour with the emphasis placed
on participation rather than that of a race. There were both
group and individual efforts in what could only be described
as a gruelling route, with steep elevation and heavy showers.
The expedition started between 0830 hours and 1000 hours with
the last participant crossing the finish line at 1645 hours.
"I started at 0835 hours and finished it in exactly
five hours," said Capt. Peter Fraser, as he jokingly
referred to himself as the lone Kiwi participant. "The
weather was actually good because it was not too hot. I've
done this sort of thing in hot weather and it is much, much
harder." Fraser works out of MND-SW Headquarters with
G5 as a liaison officer for Canton One of the Federation.
Participants from the various countries in this first time
event included Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands,
New Zealand, Romania, United Kingdom and United States of
Great and good
"It was great, I feel tired but it was nice to do
it in the rain," said Lance Cpl. Bianca Romijn, from
the Netherlands stationed out of Bugojno.
"It was good, hard work as well, but we all got here
in one piece," said Staff Sgt. David Alleyne, who came
across the finish line with five members of the United Kingdom's
Signals Squadron based in Banja Luka.
"We think it went great, everybody was in a good mood,
a lot of blisters, but everyone had a good time and they all
received a certificate and a T-shirt," said Felius. "We
are hoping that this will continue."