By Cpl. David Thomas
First published in
SFOR Informer#104, January 10, 2001
Glamoc - Without lights, a Canadian Coyote climbs the
road up and out of the town. A French light armoured vehicle (VBL)
and an APC (VAB) follow it. The last two kilometres are driven in
the dark to avoid detection.
Canadian soldiers from 2nd Troop of B Battery of the Lord Strathcona's
Horse Royal Canadian (LdSh-RC) are carrying out a tactical intelligence
mission in Glamoc. Their headquarters reports movements close to an
old factory, possibly anti-Dayton elements.
French soldiers from the 1st platoon of the 3rd company of the 110th
Infantry Regiment (RI) who serve in the Franco-German Brigade (BFA),
based in Mostar, are there to observe.
During the week-long night operations, Canadian Lt. Aaron Paronuzzi,
French Lt. Gonzague-Arnaud Prouvost and Master Corporal Mike Andrews
and MC. Neil Rook met each evening to determine the mission.
two hours, the Coyote finally deploys its mast, which can go up to
7.62 m. The mission can now start. "We are carrying out missions
like this one across our Area of Responsibility (AOR). This system
allows us to use a thermal infra-red camera and a radar in a particular
area of forest or downtown," explained Sgt Andrews. "This
camera, which is third generation, can read the name of a soldier
on his uniform within a 6 km range, the radar can see a man walking
within 24 km," he went on.
we see something suspicious, we call our patrol which can go into
action." The French platoon of Lt. Prouvost studies the system
with interest. "During this exchange, we have complete open-mindedness
to joint work. Moreover, it's a very good lesson on intelligence,"
emphasised the BFA officer.
"We discover new ways of working," said French Capt. Michel
Magne, Company Commander. "With them, (the radar and camera)
we could work in monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: their night-work
complements what we do throughout the day."
takes his turn at the monitoring station, Canadians and French observing
Glamoc and its neighbourhoods: although the units are working exercise
scenarios in reality the area is very quiet.
Co-operation between the Canadian didnt stop in MND-SW though.
One week after this operation, Canadians began discovering French
methods of working in MND-SE during operation "Hibou".
total of 45 French and Canadian soldiers were involved in an exchange
between MND-SW and SE. "By working together, I found it easier
to find similarities than it is to find differences between our armies,"
said 1Lt. Aaron Paronuzzi. "I got to practice my French, it's
great." "We all have learned a lot from each other,"
said 1Lt. Gonzague-Arnaud Prouvost "The experience is extremely
valuable. Canadians have a great vehicle. We can do our work much
more effectively with the Coyote. It is our first opportunity to work
with Canadians, this exchange should be done more often and for longer
similar exchange between the Spanish Battle Group and the Canadian
Battle Group was organised. The German and the Dutch Battle Groups
are also discussing the possibility of such an exchange in 2001.
Nations of SFOR: France,
SFOR at Work