By 1lt. Kristoffer Egeberg
First published in
SFOR Informer #101, November 22, 2000
Ploce - The Material Management Unit (MMU) has started
their move from North Port in Split, to their new facilities at
the docks in Ploce. Within the next few weeks, more than 4000 tons
of bridges and other engineering equipment will be shipped to the
new site by sea and road convoys.
eight years the MMU has been situated in Split, first as a part
of UNPROFOR, then taken over by NATO when IFOR was launched. As
a part of the Engineer Support Service (ESS), their mission has
been to provide engineering support for all the Theatre engineer
units. But times has changed, and Split is no longer the optimal
port for SFOR.
have been redesignated as the Balkan Bridge Unit, which means looking
after all the bridges in BiH, Croatia, and Kosovo. Since Ploce will
be the new NATO port for support to the Balkans, we must move there",
says MMU director Mr. George Brown.
The need of support is also a keyword concerning the move.
"A secondary reason for the move is that the British Forces
(BRITFOR) has moved out of Split, so we don't have the same amount
of support there as we used to", he says. This should not be
a problem in Ploce, since it is a multinational HQ for the Light
Aviation (Helicopters) Battalion (BATALAT), with a detachment of
Italian RELOCO providing transport and signalling, and a small detachment
from the French Logistic Battalion in Mostar.
December 20 the MMU is expected to be up and running from their
new location. A tight schedule considering the amount of bridges
and equipment they bring with them.
That means hard work for Mr. Brown and his crew of seven local civilian
"Over 4000 tons of equipment is being moved. About 20 percent
by road convoys, and the rest by ship. We have bridges and general
engineering stores, although we tend not to store too much",
says Mr. Brown.
The HELBA-group from the Multinational Integrated Logistic Unit
(MILU) at Visoko is used for transport, with additional support
from the German/Austrian transport company at Rajlovac.
none of this would be possible without the support of the French
here at Ploce", says Mr. Brown, thanking them for stockpiling
bridges in their football field.
"Ploce will really become a main spot in the Theatre",
smiles Lt. Col. Bertrand Testard de Marans, Chief Ops-centre in
Ploce. He is happy to host the MMU, looking forward to the extra
activity it will bring to the base.
"Five times a year, engineers from different SFOR-countries
will come here to learn about bridge-launching.", he says,
not to upset about losing their favourite football field.
Engineering - Bridges
Nations of SFOR: