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Soldier in the spotlight

By Cpl. Sbastien Pisani
First published in
SFOR Informer#108, March 7, 2001

"Building bridges or roads is quite the same in Italy or in BiH," said
Lt. Col. Giuseppe Manzari
, from the Italian CIMIC Unit. He roars with laughter and doesn't hesitate to qualify his five-month tour as one of the best professional experiences in his life. "We had to adapt to local techniques and materials. It was very exciting." Finishing his mission very soon, this officer waits, of course, to see again his family, managing his karate school and enjoying his sweet town of Rome. But his leaving is not without a little twinge of sorrow.
"I liked working with the civilians, we have always been welcome. Moreover, projects have been very interesting." Since his arrival on the field, Lt. Col. Manzari dealt with eight CIMIC operations. "With the construction or the repairing of primary schools, hospitals, houses, tunnels or mountain roads, it is always the same feeling which prevails. We have the impression to be useful and to take part in the reconstruction of the land. It is very gratifying," he said.
The Italian CIMIC makes out a list of all the requests of the town councils wishing to receive help for refurbishing of houses or municipal equipments. That list is sent to CJ9 for ratification. Selected projects are subjected to the European Union. Operations that were carried out were a successful conclusion to the five months. A total amount of 900,000 KM was spent on operations. "But behind that sum, there are people who are happy to find some comfort where they live," Lt. Col. Manzari said.
The Italian CIMIC is also concerned with the comfort of the soldiers serving under the national flag. It has been placed in charge of the building rehabilitation in Tito Barracks, Sarajevo, where some elements of the Italian battle group are based. "We completely renewed frontage, but we kept the mark of a bombing impact, in order that nobody forgets that war is the worst thing that could happen," said Lt. Col. Manzari.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Italy