No. 04/99 - December 1999 - Page 11

The Terrorist Fighters
(Text and Photo: Valentin Villamayor Jimenez)

Istok: One very special unit in KFOR is formed by specialists in antirerrorism. They are all members of the Grupo de Accion Rapida, GAR (Rapid Reaction Group) in Spain's Guardia Civil.

Back home in Spain, the GAR unit based in Kosovo has another mission; to combat the ETA terrorist group. It participated in the neutralisation of various "commandos" of this group. Recently, members of this unit participated in the liberation of the prison staff member Ortega Lara, who had been kidnapped by ETA for more than 500 days.

Special training

Guardia Civil, the Spanish Military Police, has a strong military character. The members of Guardia Civil's GAR undergo a special training program over five months. Between 25 % and 30 % of those who take part in this course complete it.


They learn techniques on guerrilla and counter-guerrilla warfare, on assaults aimed at both arrests of dangerous individuals and the freeing of hostages and about mountain warfare, firearms and explosives expertise, VIP protection, attack and evasive driving, scuba diving and martial arts.

This training enables them, as anti-terrorist specialists, to adapt to any terrain and mission, both in uniform and in covert operations.

Specific armament

Each team is equipped with specific armament for its particular mission, those dealing with reconnaissance have H&K 33-KE assault rifles, intervention teams carry the said assault rifles, MP-5 sub machineguns and police shotguns, lastly the support team has MG and Ameli machineguns, C-90 grenade launchers and 60mm mortars. The latter team also has two sniper combat couples with Mauser rifles. All section members are equipped with the STAR 30-M sidearm.

Homely Celebration in Kosovo
(Photo: Spec Julie Sauter)

Pristina: The United Arab Emirates Contingent in KFOR flew in a 70 man Army Band from back home to add some spice to the celebrations here of their national day on December 2.

Dressed in their red and white uniforms, the band caused a lot of commotion downtown Pristina for a couple of hours, when they marched and played. This way, the UAE Contingent allowed the capital's inhabitants to take part in their celebrations. And inside the KFOR Press Information Centre, guests were invited for lunch and traditional Arab coffee.

"We are happy to celebrate with other people, and to show them who we are. I believe people get more happy when they eat and drink with us, and listen to our music," said Lt Col Ali Al Maamri.

A Piece of Cake
(Text and Photos: Lt Cmd Yngve Lie)

Airlift: KFOR helped bring expensive water purification equipment to a town in FYROM (1).

Kriva Palanka, FYROM (1): Lifting 6 tonnes is a piece of cake for the Chinook and its Italian crew.

A boisterous bird in the sky is coming closer and closer to the soccer field, where six containers filled with expensive equipment for water purification are waiting for airlift. The equipment is a donation from Belgium to the town of Kriva Palanka in the Former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia (1).

The containers are heavy, weighing 6,000 kilos and more. The road up the hills to to Kriva Palanka is narrow and with sharp bends, making it impossible to transport the equipment by road.

Chinook storm: The helicopter stirs up a storm, and the boys enjoy it!






But the Chinook and its crew from 1st Army Division Regiment "Antares" solve the problem. The 10 tonnes heavy helicopter can lift its own weight.

A curious crowd watches the operation from safe positions between some big trees. The noise raises and the helicopter stirs up a storm, causing some of the kids to embrace the nearest tree with joy, laughter and smile.

(1) Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.