By 1Lt. Kristoffer Egeberg
First published in
SFOR Informer#108, March 7, 2001
Mostar-With a battle group consisting of 264 vehicles
and moving engines, much stands or falls on the few soldiers with
the mission of maintaining them. The Spanish Battle Group workshop
in Mostar is not a workspace for the lazy. Daily, more than ten
vehicles roll in and out, everyone depending on skilled mechanics.
sound of a singing radio drowns in the noise of engines, laughter
and mechanical rattle. The smell of oil and diesel is thick, as
a recovery APC rolls out of the mechanics garage, after its crane
having been revised and serviced. The parking-space outside is
almost as crowded as the garages inside. A lot to do, as every
day, for the 32 soldiers working in the workshop.
The platoon includes mechanics, electricians, electronic-experts
and armourers. The different specialised people needed for the
task, says Lt. Pedro Monteagudo.
their task is not a little one. Among the vehicles they have to
look after, 64 Armoured BMR and VEC APC's, tankers, trucks, light
vehicles, and numerous mobile generators.
As the vehicles here do much more mileage than they would
in Spain, they need to be serviced more often. That means changing
brakes, filters, oil, and other parts. Also, because of our mission,
this must be done faster than normal, giving us a maximum three
days to repair or service any vehicle, says Lt. Monteaguo.
platoon can do more or less all kinds of service and repairs at
their workshop in the battle group. Only very complicated problems
are passed on to the Spanish National Support Element at the airport
The workshop crew points out that the experience of working in
SFOR is good. It gives us the opportunity to develop our
professionalism, and to get used to a difficult environment were
the vehicles brake down more often because of the missions. We
are also more limited when it comes to tools compared to normal
conditions in Spain, says Lt. Monteagudo.
day, they have an average of three or four vehicles in for revision
and service, and seven or eight vehicles in for repairs.
Being a mechanic here is more work because of the vast mileage
the vehicles do, and the need to get them back on the road again
quickly when they come in for service or repairs. We do longer
hours than we would do in Spain, but I enjoy it, says Sgt.
Jose Antonio Garcia.
the seven years the Spanish battle group have operated in Mostar,
they have driven over 500 000 km. No wonder the mechanics must
work hard to keep the fleet moving.
Nations of SFOR: Spain
SFOR at Work