By 1Lt. Franois-Xavier Miller
First published in
SFOR Informer#104, January 10,
Camp McGovern - The Portuguese from the 1st Infantry
Company, 2nd Mechanised Infantry Battalion, usually based at Visoko,
have settled in for a few days.
could degenerate in and around the area - an especially sensitive
multi-ethnic one. These scenarios have already been thoroughly studied
and that was the exercise purpose. "The Portuguese are our reinforcements,
but since we know the situation on the ground, we would intervene
in the city," explained Capt.. Sergio Gonzales, 3rd Battalion
from the U.S. 15th Mechanised Infantry Regiment. "The Operational
Reserve would then control the district," he explained.
The exercise objectives were ambitious but nevertheless realistic:
they were to carry out a co-ordinated operation, exercise communications
and logistics interoperability, sustain ground presence patrols and
command and control combined units. A first phase was to start with
area orientation and familiarisation.
the morning of Jan. 4, the American and Portuguese soldiers got to
know each other. It was a sunny day, ideal conditions for a recce.
American 'Hummers' were to serve as vehicles for combined patrols.
" We'll perform a right seat side and left seat side transfer
of authority," explained Capt.. Sergio Gonzales.
But the best laid plans can go wrong and the day plans suddenly
We are cancelling our patrols because events in the Doboj Area
of Responsibility have taken a turn for the worse. Our movement orders
are being sent," said Capt.. Eugenio Gil, Portuguese Operations
unrest caused by more than 70 people has been taking place for the
last few days in Donja Bocinja, near Maglaj. These demonstrators are
trying to stop the process of returning DPREs to the village - through
violence and intimidation - disregarding the Dayton Peace Agreement.
Local police have had difficulty stabilising the situation, SFOR has
engaged Nordpol elements to stop looting. After an assault against
a SFOR military policeman, and vandalism of the cultural centre, SFOR
troops moved to protect the building. The call is for the Portuguese
company to be put on alert and to move to Doboj.
Portuguese soldiers got their pack ready while an initial briefing
was held for officers. In position to go in a few minutes, soldiers
awaited orders. Each platoon leader gathered his soldiers to give
overall orders. The Portuguese pennant was lowered from the building
where the company had settled in.
forward element was sent to Doboj to coordinate operations and logistics
at the Nordpol Headquarters. Then packs were loaded aboard the trucks
and everybody got onto the vehicles ready to go. Finally the UMM Jeeps,
Chaimites, ambulance, recovery vehicle and transportation trucks were
organised into convoy and the SFOR Operational Reserve set off.
Accommodated at Camp Dannevirke, near Doboj, the Portuguese company
relieved E-Squadron from Nordpol, the squadron concentrating its effort
on the Donja Bocinja area.
Their plans to train in the Camp McGovern area were now a thing of
the past but the Portuguese were doing exactly what they were trained
for as an Operational Reserve Force - deploying rapidly to help counter
Nations of SFOR: Portugal
SFOR at Work