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Exercise Dobrelji



By Sgt. William Wilczewski
First published in
SFOR Informer #81, February 16, 2000

 

Dobrelji - To evaluate their operational readiness, soldiers from the French Battle Group of Multinational Division South East (MND-SE) conducted Exercise Dobrelji Feb. 1-2 near Gacko, two and a half hours south east of Mostar. Company D soldiers from the Marine Armoured Infantry Regiment (RICM) were evaluated by their chain of command on many tactical peacekeeping measures during continuous, simulated scenarios.

After securing and touching down on a landing zone, the troops moved out on the unforgiving terrain to re-establish freedom of movement and secure the "threatened" village of Dobrelji, negotiating many obstacles along the way. "It's good training for the troops," said Operation Officer Lt. Col. Patrick Destremau. During the two-day affair, they encountered EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) and terrorist threats, friendly and hostile civilian encounters, as well as refugee and prisoner safeguarding scenarios.

They also encountered hostage rescue, police intervention, and dealing with the media situations. "I prefer being in the field instead of being at the headquarters, said WO Didier Rumeau, transmission platoon deputy. At the completion of their exercise, the French co-ordinated with the Spanish Battle Group (with an attached German company), combining forces to extend the exercise and expand the area of operation. MND-SE Commander, Maj. Gen. Arnold Schwerdorffer, was on hand to observe and evaluate the opening hours of the exercise.

"We need these exercises in order to verify our concept of the tactical reserve within our division," said Schwerdorffer, adding that an interdivisional exercise is being planned for March. "This is a phase during which each battle group can check its ability at the company level, particularly in regards to signal and command organisation."