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Norwegians and Americans joint training

by Capt. Felipe Quero

First published in SFOR Informer #18, September 3,1997

Photo 1T.JPG (6403 bytes)Modrica - SFOR reserve units train regularly to achieve an optimum state of readiness for deployment throughout the Theatre of Operations. In a multinational operation like Operation Joint Guard this often involves joint training with forces of different countries. A combined exercise recently took place on an airfield near Modrica.

The land element for this operation was a Norwegian Company with thePhoto 2T.JPG (5550 bytes) reinforcement of an American Platoon, and consisted of almost 200 soldiers including support elements. The air element included six UH-60 Blackhawks and two CH-47 D Chinook helicopters from Task Force 1-77.

Photo 3T.JPG (10663 bytes)Maj. Svend Swendson served as Commander of the company team during the exercise. The exercise goals were to train in the procedures of sling loading and transport of vehicles with the Chinook’s, and to improve the deployment of heliborne equipment and the subsequent land deployment of the infantry units.

When the first UH-60 landed, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team, 1Lt. Asbjrn Grande and his trained EOD dog, Lisa, deployed. Lisa’s mission was to recce the Area of Operations to ensure there were no mines or explosives. "The dog is fully trained. She has detected many explosives and mines since our arrival in Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH)," stated Grande. After Lisa had finishedPhoto 4T.JPG (7658 bytes) her job, the squads and platoons dropped down and spread throughout the area.

Platoon Commander, 1Lt. Tore Staveland, said, "our platoon flew in the last Chinook. It is the first time we have done a combined airborne exercise with an American platoon although they have worked with us before, providing air and fire support."

[Norwegian soldier]

[US soldier]

[Exercises and Training]