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Goodbye Jussi!

By 2nd Lt. Alexandre Barbé
First published in
SFOR Informer#112, May 3, 2001

A ceremony was held April 12 at the Nordpol Battle Group (NPBG) headquarters to say goodbye to the 120 men from the Finnish contingent. Some of them will fly back home, and others will move to Eagle Base as part of the Multinational Division - North CIMIC battalion.

Doboj - There they were, all of them. On the parade square, clouded by a grey sky, the four platoons saluted the national flag that flowed down for the last time.
"We arrived at the Nordpol Battle Group in December 1995 and since that time, everything has been well. The Finns did a very good job within the CIMIC Company," stated Lt. Col. Martti Kari, senior national representative. "The Swedes (with whom the Finns worked), the Danes and the Poles will take over. They'll keep the same areas of work," he noticed.
But there were no regrets; their thoughts were on the future. About 78 Finnish soldiers will stay within SFOR, 36 of them will be integrated to the American CIMIC Battalion at Eagle Base. The Finns have already been working with them since February. "Our officers will take care of five or six villages each that they'll visit every day so the local population will get used to them," pointed out Kari. "What we can bring to the Americans is our own way of dealing with CIMIC matters. We go directly to see the people and talk with them. Furthermore, our government financially supports us in our actions," he added.
The final move from Camp Jussi ended April 17. The Finnish platoon became operational May 1. Many convoys moved from the Finnish barracks from Camp Jussi to Eagle Base during the night because of the traffic, Kari said. Nothing should be missing for the comfort of the soldiers, and above all, none of their eight famous saunas.
As for the Swedes who were living in Camp Jussi, they'll set up at the battle group headquarters, one kilometre away. Camp Jussi will be handed back to its previous owner: the army of Republika Srspka. But that's another story…

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Finland
Restructuring and Reserves