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Joint Resolve XXI: green and blue box

By 2Lt Alexander Barb
First published in
SFOR Informer#103, December 20, 2000

Comanche Base - Refugees are trapped inside an International Police Task Force (IPTF) building by hostile demonstrators. Three platoons from the Multinational Specialised Unit (MSU) have been called for back up. Bottles filled with water shatter on MSU vehicles. An additional military force will be needed to scatter the crowd. This last stage is the most impressive part of Joint Resolve XXI exercise which took place from the 4th to the 8th of late December, in MND-N, mainly on Comanche and Eagle American bases, near Tuzla.
The exercise's maim aim was to put SFOR Reserve Forces on trial to quickly deploy to intervene and run operations in BiH. In this particular case, we are here to "conduct a combined public peace order mission," said Danish Capt. Christian Neerdal, from G3 (plans), at the NORDPOL Battle Group based in Doboj. About 300 American, Turkish, Russian, Danish, Lithuanians and Italian soldiers joined in this operation which requested a full month of preparation.
The exercise intends to "develop interaction between the 'green box' and the 'blue box'," asserts Italian Capt. Cristiano Desideri, from the MSU, based at Sarajevo. "In case of public disorder, SFOR, according to some documents, asserts that 'green troops' need MSU support (blue troops) to control a crowd. The interaction between each another is called interaction between the 'green' and the 'blue box'," he added. The issue is to be able to co-ordinate efficiently the procedures to progress together, the "green box" backing-up the "blue box".
Russians played a part as civilian demonstrators. Italian 1Lt. Melchiorre Filippo, from the MSU faced the demonstrators on the front line with his platoon. His men, protected by their helmets and their transparent shields, slowly make headway, backed up by the Eagles (Danish vehicles), surrounded by smokes from tear-gas grenades.
"One of my men has been lightly injured but he is the only one. This exercise was very realistic. It is very important to work 'green box' and 'blue box' together because we are all one force. We also experiment our different procedures."
"It's the first time I've worked with the Danes, and I really appreciated it," said Italian 1Lt. Giuseppe Vecchia, platoon leader from the MSU, in charge of the left flank during the exercise.
Maj. Nicolas Veicherts, commander of the Danish D squadron, based at Camp Dannevirke, took part in it with 51 of his men and thirteen vehicles. "I am convinced that we know each another better now. It was very important to show that regular troops can help MSU when the need arises. We worked with Turks, Americans, Lithuanians and the co-ordination was very profitable," he asserted.
Finally, the crowd was smoothly driven back and the situation calmed down. Colonel Per Ludvigsen, commanding the NORDPOL Battle Group did not hesitate to get physically involved, in the heart of action inside an Eagle. "This exercise was really very good because it showed that SFOR troops are very flexible and can be deployed everywhere when needed without hampering the Battle Group’s missions but drawing lessons from it.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Italy, Denmark, Lithuania
Training and Exercises