By 1Lt. Francois Xavier Miller
First published in
SFOR Informer#105, January 24, 2001
Ljuta - January 11, the Multinational Sites Control
Unit (UMCS) carried out a slightly out of the ordinary visit.
The mission, as much as the site itself, presented exceptional
UMCS is an unique structure of MND-SE (editor's note. SFOR Informer,
n°104 p.4) which releases battle groups from their weapons
storage sites control duties. This specialisation enables a unity
of methods and means, and it centralises data collected after
the previous day, 17 trainees coming from the two other Divisions
and from Joint Military Affairs (JMA), came along to share the
experience acquired jointly by Germans, Spaniards, French and
Italians. The previous day in Mostar an explanation for the principles,
means and methods of UMCS had been given. MND-SE guests were now
going to see how inspectors are used to working in the field.
site of Ljuta is located north of Mostar, in a steep valley near
Konjic. It houses the 3rd battalion of the 401th Brigade of the
Federation of BiH Armed Forces. Its buildings spread out over
the whole valley, and its warehouses keep several brigades
worth of stock. Considering the extent of the site, the five inspection
teams have had to regroup. "One team takes the lead of the
visit and the others are at its disposal, explained French Maj.
Michel Vives. They divided the buildings to be inspected among
themselves, and, if the case arises, two teams for a bigger building."
Capt. Christian Göttfert finished the joint briefing with
Bosnian liaison officers and gave his orders. The demonstrative
teaching was going to enable trainees from other SFOR divsions
to apprecite the UMCS methods. "There are inventory lists
for each room, and we count down to the last item. Discrepancies
are compared to the in & out bills we were given, said Maj.
know-how hinges on substantial knowledge of equipement - that
has to be identified - and on a thorough documentary preparation.
"There are some things we are learning which we will consider
applying. The way they standardize is especially interesting,"
admitted Canadian Capt. Dick Cruickshank, from MND-SW. "They
also have a very complete database with lots of people doing the
is also used to communicating very accurate specifications on
the way to store weapons and ammunition to the Entity Armed Forces.
Ammunition stores must be clean, with no electric lighting - a
spark could have explosive consequencies - and be provided with
a storage poster displayed on the wall, wire netting on windows,
and a fire safety kit for each building.
"I like what they do. Their inspections are organised at
a division level, I like the consistency, the same team doing
it," said American Maj. Jay Hallam, from Tuzla. "When
a multinational unit shows up at a weapons storage site, it shows
the EAF a different group of people working together in one team,
SFOR at Work