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Operation Gloria, June 6, 1997

by JOC(AW) Tony Joseph

First published in SFOR Informer #12, June 11, 1997

Vitkovici - The operation was a success. Operation Gloria, held by Multinational Division South East (MND-SE) in early June, accomplished all training goals.

Photo 1T.JPG (11849 bytes)Gloria's scenario involved an emergency troop re-deployment which included French personnel from Filipovici and a Moroccan company from Mostar. The Moroccans were airlifted in by U.S. Blackhawk helicopters to the French base at Filipovici on June 6. There they assumed all duties being performed by the French troops. The French, in turn, were freed to deploy to the operational 'hot spot'; in this case, Vitkovici. They were lifted to the site on the final day of Gloria by a team of French, Spanish, and German helicopters.

"The training here was important," said Capt. Sergio Tamai, an MND-SE spokesman, "because there are so many different national elements to blend into common operations. This Operation provided the chance to train on equipment and systems that we would use if a situation arose, were we needed toPhoto 2T.JPG (10596 bytes) stage an emergency redeployment."

Among the nations participating in Operation Gloria were Italy, France, Morocco, Portugal, Germany, and Spain of MND-SE, and a United States helicopter squadron from Multinational Division North (MND-N).

Operation Gloria was staged over a 10-day period. It included a planning phase, several days of training exercises, and then the two day action segment. The scenario developed with a call for an emergency troop re-deployment to Gorazde. However, as the scenario was planned, that landing site was unavailable. This called for the movement of the Moroccan company to supplement the French at Filipovici, and then the French troop movement to support troops previously deployed to Vitkovici.

Photo 3T.JPG (10568 bytes)For the Moroccan Contingent, this represented not just a rehearsal operation, but an actual movement and action. The company replacing the French at Filipovici is an MND-SE reserve unit. Their mission is to fill contingent roles. As such, they had previously surveyed the area and made their plans on moving in. The movement of the company from Mostar-Ortiges, and full integration of the Moroccan company into the French post took less than six hours. It was a seamless transition, Photo 4T.JPG (12021 bytes)beginning with a security changeover, which happened almost immediately, and then a complete changeover of patrol and other functions normally handled by the French.

"It is our responsibility to be ready for this kind of action since it's part of our function as the photo 5T.JPG (9532 bytes)Divisional Reserve," said Capt. Nourreddin Oubahmane, Company Commander for the Moroccans. "We've trained for this, and our team is always ready to deploy into whatever situation we're called in to."MND-SE Commander, Maj. Gen. Yves Le Chatelier watched the exercise unfold. Afterward he noted, "an exercise such as this doesn't just happen. With all of the forces involved, a great deal of training and planning takes place. I am pleased with the way this Operation turned out. Our goals were accomplished."

[French soldier]

[German soldier]

[Moroccan soldier]

[Portuguese soldier]

[Exercise and Training]