By Cpl. Sbastien Pisani
First published in
SFOR Informer#106, February 7, 2001
- Wind and snow. All atmospheric conditions were combined to make
the work of the engineers hard.
Ventilation chambers were hauled up on the roof of several Corimecs
intended to take some ammunitions and then plugged in. In spite
of the cold, the operation was carried out quickly.
heavy task still awaited the Bulgarian soldiers integrated in
the Engineer Company of the 44th Dutch Battle Group. The next
closing of Busovaca camp will entail the delivery of weapons and
explosives, which must be stocked in the best conditions.
"They are excellent professionals," said Warrant Officer
2 Gerard Van Heel. Dutch sappers have learned to work with these
new colleagues since the November 3 arrival of the Bulgarian battalion
commanded by Capt. Jordan Ivanov. The cooperation is now exemplary
between the two teams.
the beginning, the hardest (was) the language gap. But there is
always a way to understand people on a building site. Especially
when they really know their job," said Van Heel. Among the
28 men of the Bulgarian battalion, there were electricians, carpenters,
bricklayers and plumbers. "We are taking part in the construction
of the camp and the servicing of technical installations,"
said Sgt. Maj. Miroslav Grigorov. Several Bulgarian sappers have
been distinguished for the installation, in less than two weeks,
of four tents used for the storage and like workshops.
traveling to BiH, Bulgarians followed intensive training in their
own country and in Netherlands. "Our engineers have an instruction
on equipment and safety regulations in force in the Dutch army,"
said Capt. Petko Petkov, battalion doctor. "Every week, our
engineers are signing a document specifying they are scrupulously
respecting the safety regulations. That's why to date we (do not)
have any accidents to deplore."
under the Dutch command, Bulgarians have the chance of taking
part in various missions outside the camp. The dismantling of
a military bridge with Dutch, British, New Zealander and Czech
engineers permitted them to see how the other nations work. "Our
participation at the multinational force is a wealth of teachings
because it is getting us used to new techniques and equipment,"
said Capt. Petko Petkov.
Bulgarians are also placing themselves in the service of the local
Hearing that an old woman was living alone in a dilapidated house
at Jurici, they made her windows and a new door. "We are
feeling very close (to) the BiH population because our respective
language (is) not very far away," said the battalion doctor.
A closeness that these men are cultivating with their Dutch colleges
ensure the smooth running of Bugojno camp.
Nations of SFOR: Bulgaria,
SFOR at Work