Atlas raises the world

2Lt. Agustín López Marín
First published May 14, 2003

On May 8, personnel from the transport platoon belonging to the German Service Support Company (SSC), located in Rajlovac with members of the similar Italian unit from Tito Barracks, performed the transportation of several Federation Army Armoured Personal Carriers (APC). These vehicles were stored in Sarajevo. They will be used as targets on the live firing range at Glamoc.

Sarajevo - The close co-operation of the German and Italian Logistic Companies within the German Italian Battle Group (GEIT BG) allowed to carry out this transportation of vehicles.
Capt. Thomas Decke is the deputy commander of the SSC. "As a result of previous meetings and conversations during the year 2002, the Federation Ministry of Defence decided to donate 20 surplus Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV). The arrangements included agreement by SFOR to organise the transportation of the vehicles from the various locations to the range of Glamoc. To date, SFOR through the assistance of the different Multinational Brigades have moved 17 of the 20 vehicles. The last three will be moved today and will be used as targets in Glamoc," stated Decke.

Dangerous actions
Staff Sgt. Martin Schmieg led the convoy. "We transport three TAM 150 APCs from the 'Safet Zajko' barracks in Sarajevo. We will use two German 'Elephant' trucks and one Italian ATC 81 truck. We carry to extremes the security measures with the goal of avoiding accidents. With this type of mission we improve our skills, every activity means different classes of vehicles and difficulties. Today, one of the vehicles has an excessive height, and we need to separate the tower form the hull before placing the APC on the truck, " explained Schmieg.
Sgts. Giacomo Piras and Raffaelle de Mattia are the drivers of the Italian truck. "First, we reconnoitred the vehicles to know their state and select the best way to carry them. Then, we tightened the rigging for the trip by road," said Piras.

The recovery Liebherr-Field Crane Middle is led by Sgt. 1st Class Oliver Schmalhoff. "This vehicle can raise vehicles up to 20 tons. Today, due to the bad state of the APCs we have some additional handicaps to deal with. The engine of one of the APCs is broken, two of them have flat tyres and without an align direction in the front wheels, and one is without tracks. For this reason it is necessary, at the same time that the winch of the truck drags the APC, with the crane we lift the front part of the vehicle. Besides, if the process is complicated; we directly, elevate all APC and place the truck below it," added Schmalhoff.
"The mission of the SSC is to ensure the follow-on support for German forces in BiH with all kinds of supplies as well as in some special fields of logistic mission support, my unit disposes of re-supply, transportation and maintenance assets. Within the GEIT BG the Cupertino with our Italian comrades proved to be very fruitful. There are still obstacles to overcome, but in general, there is more than enough enthusiasm to solve any problem," concluded Decke.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Italy, Germany

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Photos: Sgt. Toni McDowell

Italian Sgts. De Mattia (l.) and Piras (r.) prepare and check the rigging on the APC above their truck.


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It was necessary to perform complex operations to carry the vehicles.


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After hard teamwork the vehicles are prepared to be removed.


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After hard teamwork the vehicles are prepared to be removed.


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Sgt. 1st Class Schmalhoff (below) drives the recovery crane with Sgt. Lübke (above).