2Lt. German Francisco Muñoz
First published June 16, 2003
SFOR trains and exercises regularly to maintain a high
level of readiness and to improve its operational procedures.
From June 2nd to 6th, 2003, Multinational Brigade Southeast
(MNB-SE) conducted the operational rehearsal Joint Resolve
XXIX 'Conspicuous Collection', particularly focused on two
zones: the triangle Pale - Sokolac - Rogatica and the areas
of Ljubuski, Siroki Brijeg and Posusje.
MNBSE - The aim of Conspicuous Collection was to practice
the employment of the Tactical Reserve in a series of rapid
deployments in a multinational environment, using credible
operational scenarios. In this framework, JR XXIX included
search and patrolling operations, establishment of Vehicle
Check Points by Multinational Specialised Unit (MSU) and Battle
Group assigned units, aimed at disrupting illegal trafficking,
particularly weapons. As a matter of fact, smuggling in this
area poses a direct threat to SFOR forces.
In a short time, Canadian, French, German, Italian, Moroccan,
Slovenian, Spanish and US troops were deployed in the field
in the Area of Operations, with a wide range of military capabilities.
They had to maintain a high level of readiness and the ability
to eliminate any threat to a safe and secure environment.
SFOR restructuring has created more need for flexibility in
the use of the force in order to respond to different types
Flexibility and quick reaction
The exercise developed in the triangle Pale - Sokolac - Rogatica
was carried out by the German Italian Battle Group (GEIT BG)
reinforced by an Italian Reserve Company and an MSU sub-unit.
"We respond directly to the Brigade Commander, he sends
us to the most appropriate place to perform our normal activity:
patrolling, gathering information or any other activity he
might decide. We are ready at any moment, flexible and ready
to react quickly," explained 1Lt. Paolo Signani, platoon
commander of the Italian Reserve Company, before his unit
is to be re-deployed by helicopter.
Italian and German units together developed several patrols
and presence activities in downtown Sokolac, under a hard
rain. "Our daily activities included, among other things,
patrols and guard duties. Only with our presence can the illegal
trafficking of weapons or tobacco be disrupted," stated
Italian Sergeant 1st Class Omar Greco, platoon commander of
Task Force Coy 1 based in Tito Barracks. "We also conducted
intelligence and information gathering and helped at the MSU
check points if somebody tried to evade them," added
1Lt. Jörn Radloff, platoon commander of Task Force 47
from Germany based in Rajlovac.
From the air together
Spanish French Battle Group (SPFR BG) developed the exercise
in the areas of Ljubuski, Siroki Brijeg and Posusje. The French
and Spanish Paratroopers Companies and a Canadian Company
belonging to Multinational Brigade Northwest (MNB-NW) were
the main units to carry out this mission. First Lt. David
Laborie, platoon commander of the French Infantry Para Coy
commented: "Presence patrol in towns is very important
because people see SFOR force and feel that we are here for
helping them. Furthermore, I am very satisfied to work with
other countries, and especially with a para unit similar to
"One of the missions of the SPFR BG among others is to
maintain a focused military presence on special areas of interest,
through day and night patrols. We have the capability to deter
hostilities and, if necessary, to respond to all incidents
in accordance with our Rules of Engagement," explained
Spanish Capt. Jose Antonio Latorre Remon, Coy CSS Commander,
who is in his fourth mission in BiH.
Spanish Guardia Civil established checkpoints in several areas
with the support of other units. One of those units was a
platoon of the Spanish Para Coy, commanded by 1Lt. Francisco
Javier Barrero Gutierrez. "Since the beginning of Joint
Resolve, we have seen how the strange traffic of too many
high mobile vehicle was decreasing near the border,"
"The control of illegal trafficking is very complicate,
we need the surprise at the first moment, later it's very
difficult to catch anybody because they warn each other through
cell phones," concluded Spanish Guardia Civil Staff Sgt.
Juan Carlos Linares Bermejo.
The hard blue work
Members of SFOR MSU located in Butmir, took part in the exercise
Joint Resolve. First with SPFR BG from May 30 to June 2, then
later with GEIT BG from June 2 to 5. The MSU unit was formed
by Company C, commanded by Italian 1Lt. Gennaro Flauret. They
had a large area to perform their job, with several missions
as important as search operations and checkpoints. All of
them were carried outwith the support of the different units
assigned to the area where they performed their operations.
"Together with BG assigned units, our main task with
this check points is disrupting and controlling illegal trafficking
and smuggling, particularly weapons and drugs. Roads near
the borders always are very interesting for such tasks,"
With two armoured vehicles 'Fuchs TPZ' and one reconnaissance
vehicle 'Luchs', both belonging to the German Task Force II
located in Filipovici they provided security to MSU units
around the checkpoint in Foca. Platoon commander is 1Lt. Norbert
Rittinghaus. He stated: "We not only provide security
with our vehicles at this spot; we also check the registration
number of the cars."
"As a result of these activities, 54 rifle and pistols,
33 hand grenades, four rifle grenades, two mines, 17,305 ammunitions,
3.4Kg of explosive and 73 different items, like bayonets,
home-made grenades, knives, were collected. In one case, a
patrol stopped a car whose driver carried drugs. The local
police are now in charge of the investigations," said
Italian Captain Tommaso Magistretti, MNB SE spokesperson.
At the end of the operation, MNB SE Commander, Italian Brig.
Gen. Gian Marco Chiarini expressed his thanks to the population
of BiH. He praised the courtesy and co-operation they showed
to the troops on the ground and also their understanding of
the importance of SFOR's contribution to the security and
a better life in this country.
Related link: Training