One patrol further
By 1Lt Alexander Barb
First published in
SFOR Informer #99, October 25, 2000
Doboj - The Russian BTR 80 roars, softly shaking the ground.
Behind, two Danish Mowag Eagles await the departure signal. On the sun-warmed
white gravel of Camp Dannevirke, Doboj in Multinational Division North,
the soldiers and their machines are ready to carry out a two-hour patrol.
Maj. Nicolas Veicherts, commanding D squadron from the NORDPOL Battle
Group, received a visit from a group of Russian paratroopers on Oct. 16.
They are part of of the Reconnaissance Company of the 1st Peacekeeping
Russian Separate Airborne Brigade (PRSAB) based in Camp Ugljevik. They
came with their BTR 80 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) which they normally
use for regular patrolling.
One detail catches your attention when you enter Veicherts' office. On
a stool stands a saddle and beside it a cavalry sabre in its scabbard.
"That's in the case we go by horse," joked Veicherts. The equipment
shows the recce squadron in Dannevirke belong to the Royal Guard Hussars
of her the Queen of Denmark.
part of the visit the Russians and Danish divided the strength into two
patrols, each one taking its Area of Responsibility. "It's our third
meeting with the Russians. They already came to see our equipment a few
weeks ago and we did the same at their camp," said Veicherts.
Eagle driver, Pvt. Jacob Bjornen listens to his radio crackle. His platoon
commander, Sgt. Mads Kroman, patrol leader, gives him the route. The three
vehicles roll out in a cloud of dust. Bjornen joined the army 15 months
ago. He's part of a combat platoon in his regiment.
like being here because we have a very good team work and people are friendly,"
he said while not losing the track for the BTR 80 on the stony way that
passes through the village of Grapska Gornja."It's interesting to
meet the Russians and to compare our equipment. I just came back from
McGovern where we led patrols with Americans for one week. I like these
exchanges because you can get a better view of what the different units
to Russian Capt. Veceslav Muratov, commander of Special Forces group of
the airborne troops, who was in charge of the delegation for the day,
"This kind of cooperation is very good because it allows a lot of
exchange. We co-operate with U.S. in joint patrols as well. Maybe we'll
do less joint patrols in the coming weeks because we are preparing our
vehicles for winter, but we'll be doing more after that."
Nations of SFOR: Russia, Denmark,