By 1Lt Javier Donesteve
First published in
SFOR Informer#104, January 10, 2001
Sarajevo- In Annex 1A, Article 6 of the General Framework
Agreement for Peace, better known as the Dayton Peace Agreement, it
was accepted that The Parties understand and agree that in carrying
out its responsibilities, the IFOR (now SFOR) shall have the unimpeded
right to observe, monitor, and inspect any Forces, facility or activity
in Bosnia and Hercegovina that the IFOR believes may have military
capability. The GFAP also established that an International
Force (today called SFOR) would be deployed in BiH for contributing
to the peace efforts.
SFOR HQ has a branch, JMA (Joint Military Affairs) in charge of following
compliance with the military aspects of the agreement and liaison
with the Parties.
of the tasks of the JMA is overseeing the inspection of Military Sites,
to control the weapons, ammunition and equipment of the Entity Armed
Each of the three SFOR Multinational Divisions carries out this mission
in their own Areas of Responsibility (AoR). But, while in MND-North
and -SW this task is carried out by the Battle Groups, in 1998 MND-SE
created a specialised inspections unit to discharge the Battlegroups
of this responsibility. It is called the Multinational Sites Control
The UMCS is commanded by a Spanish Major with a German Deputy Commander,
at present, respectively, Major Jose Galvez and Major Klaus Frey.
Personnel come from the four main main contributing nations of MND
SE: France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The organisation includes a
headquarters with three teams (Administration, Documentation, and
Technical Advisory) and five Inspection Teams, each of them composed
of personnel from two nationalities, two officers, two NCOs and two
corporals/privates, plus an interpreter.
"And it works" says Captain Rubio, Spanish Army, Team 1
Commander. "The other MND's are organising similar units, and
we are going to train them. It's a specialised job. Our Battle Groups
have other duties".
The Unit controls more than one hundred sites located in the Divisional
area. Their tool is the "Dare Programme" a software database
where all inspection results are listed. "Everything must be
justified. Any discrepancy means a does not conform appears
in the final report of the inspection. This carries sanctions, normally
a confiscation" says Capt. Luis M. Torres, Spanish Army, Team
2 Commander. "But failed inspections are very unusual, about
a three percent. The Entities are very concerned about it. They are
usually very accurate and helpful".
Today Team 2 has a confiscation task in Knezina, RS, in the Area of
Responsibility of the Italian Battlegroup. "On the last inspection
here, there were one hundred cartridges too many," explained
Lieutenant Stefano Proietti, Italian Army. After the failed report,
the confiscation was requested.
A squad of Italian Mountain Troops is waiting for Team 2. "The
confiscation must be carried out by the Battle Group. We are just
mediators in this task" says WO1 Salvador Tarin, Spanish Army.
"This will take a few minutes only. But behind this, there are
many hours of admin work."
A VRS V Corps Liaison Officer receives the Team. Everything happens
very fast: The arsenal is opened, and the ammunition handed over.
Capt. Torres and the VRS Lieutenant sign the forms helped by the interpreter,
Vladimiro Perez, an ex-Spanish legionnaire. The task is over. The
information about the site will be analysed and updated, and used
for future inspections. It is a job based on attention to detail -
counting down to the last bullet if necessary.
Nations of SFOR: France,
Italy , Spain,
SFOR at Work