Joint Resolve in the snow
By 1Lt. Kristoffer Egeberg
MND SE - Canadian Bison's plough through the snow,
followed by their mates the Coyote's and French VAB's and VBL's.
The field of Macipolje is covered with over two feet of snow,
giving the scenario an arctic touch. No match for the NATO-soldiers
though, out to solve the missions of Exercise Joint Resolve XXII.
The scenario for the one-week exercise is an outburst of hot spots in the southern area of MND-SE. Ethnic violence, criminal acts, smuggling, demonstrations, and actions perpetrated by paramilitary groups are some of the ingredients put in the Joint Resolve mixture. To support the French and Spanish units in the area, Italian, German, and Canadian troops are called for.
the Portuguese soldiers of the Operational Reserves (OPRES) in
Visoko, and US troops from the Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) in MND-N
are tasked to close the gap left behind in the German and Italian
Battle Groups Areas of Responsibility.
Macipolje French and Canadian soldiers work together, exchanging
experience about weapons, vehicles, and snow. Live firing, displays,
and instructions are part of the exercise, forming closer bonds
between the different armies.
co-operation is very good. The Canadians are used to this climate,
and to work in snow. It helps our mission, and us, said
Capt. Paul Duvivier, commander of the 3rd Company from the French
Battle Group in Mostar. Their Canadian allies are part of the
Canadian Battle Group in Zgon, MND SW.
is a good experience, and it is going really well. We were also
here with the French two months ago, so we are used working together,
said Canadian Pvt. Michelle Solvberg from C-patrol in B-squadron
of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadian) LdSH (RC) Regiment.
day during this exercise, we have done something interesting.
It's always good for us to practice in the field. Normally we
work inside an hospital in Mostar, and therefore it's important
for us to go out in the field, so we stay prepared for real situations,
said Capt. Damien Corberand, doctor of the French medical team
holding out in the snow.
the French and Canadian soldiers could continue their mission,
to re-deploy and secure the area of Gacko, they gave a display
of firepower for invited VRS officers. The soldiers showed no
mercy to the targets in front of them, not letting a little snow
and chill slow them down.
On the other side of Trebinje, besides the permanent camp of the Spanish detachment of Marines, another camp has been settled. Tents houses the soldiers and headquarters of the Italian 12th Company Terrible consisting of 116 alpine troops, normally based in Tito Barracks in Sarajevo.
the soldiers are out on missions and patrols, hectic activity
reveals the mess-tent. In just a few hours, hungry soldiers will
expect their dinner. Head Chef WO3 Giorgio Giaccari is not too
worried. To make 200 meals is a piece of cake for a team of trained
exercise is good for us. By the way, the job is just the same
as it would be in our camp, but we get to use our mobile field-kitchen,
have two car-teams further up the road. They observe the traffic,
write down the details of cars, and alert us when vehicles of
special interest comes toward us, said Ms.Sgt. Uwe Dirlam.
With a temporary camp put up in Bravenik, 15 kilometres outside
Trebinje, the German 2nd Mixed Reconnaisance and Infantry Company
of 128 soldiers carries out patrols and control-posts throughout
the area. A difficult job in taking responsibility in a new and
But with the strength of SFOR soldiers from co-operating nations, a stable and secure environment is finally restored in southern BiH. Due to the snow, this exercise has not just been a test of military skills, but also a victory against the elements.