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Operation Portuguese

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

Doboj - Two Chaimites are posted both sides of the bridge. The Hungarian engineers can work at ease. The 15 soldiers of the 2nd Portuguese Rifle Coy, led by 1Lt. Rui Costa, ensured the safety of the bridge. Just one of the many missions that they had in the NORDPOL Battle Group area of responsibility.
"We arrived here on the 2nd of December. Today our mission consist in securing the area for the Hungarian engineers to check the bridge. So we closed the road and stopped the circulation for two hours," said 1Lt. Rui Costa.
At first the Danish military Police came to see if everything was going the right way. The Portuguese noticed any incident. "It's the first time I come to Doboj and I find it a quiet town," confirmed 1Lt. Costa.
The Portuguese Contingent from the Operational Reserve based in Visoko set up their tents in the three camps of Dannevirke (first Rifle Coy), Jussi (second Rifle Coy) and the HQ (support Coy) to take over the missions of the Danes, Poles and Lithuanians who took part in Exercise Joint Resolve XXI from the 4th to the 9th of December in MND-N.
"Our job is the same as the NORDOL Battle Group soldiers are doing. We conduct patrols, we monitor the transport of ammunition by the VRS (Republika Srpska army) to check if it's done in the right way," explained Portuguese Capt. Marco Cardoso,. Of course, taking over the missions of the Battle Group needed preparation. Two weeks before getting in place, the Portuguese came to Doboj to make a reconnaissance and getting familiarised with their new environment. They took the opportunity to co-ordinate logistical problems.
Another of their missions consist in keeping a permanent presence in a patrol base located in the little village of Bocinja Donja, in the Lithuanian area of responsibility. A team takes over the previous one each day for 24 hours. SSGt Alfonso Borges took his place this morning. "My job is to send patrols into the village every two hours to check if everything is fine. We talk with the local police. Every hour, I do a radio check with my headquarters in Doboj," he said. "I like this job because we work with different people and we learn a lot. We know every place in Bosnia and Hercegovina," he added.
"All is really fine and it's good to see our soldiers share with other Battle Groups," Capt. Cardoso affirmed. "In my opinion, I get a better understanding of the situation. In terms of operational reserve, we see the importance of inter-operability between the different groups." An experience accumulated since four months that this Portuguese Contingent will take advantage of for their nfuture missions.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Portugal
SFOR at Work