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Last colours at Camp Dobol

By 2nd Lt. Alexandre Barbé
First published in
SFOR Informer#110, April 4, 2001

Kalesija - Closing a base is like a little death. But not in the case of Camp Dobol. According to Lt. Col. Bruce Hain, last commanding officer of the American base, "Closing Dobol means that the mission continues to progress in BiH. Things are getting better and most of the soldiers from this last rotation, who already had been here before, see the changes that have taken place."
Thus, the flag slowly lowered in front of two platoons gathered for the event. They all felt strong emotion as they were leaving the base where they lived during the past six months. "It's a kind of sad day. It was like home and I'm very touched by this ceremony," confided Command Sgt. Maj. Otis Smith.
Out of the 750 soldiers belonging to the 64th Armoured Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division (mechanised), about 150 recently moved to the new forward operational base called Camp Connor, near Bratunac. The other 600 took the road to Camp Comanche. Most of the soldiers leaving Dobol are going back home. A new rotation is landing. They are the Georgia National Guard 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade.
Camp Dobol was first opened in 1996. Its area of responsibility covered the region from Zvornik to Srebrenica. Now, the base will be turned over to Brown and Root, one of the most important contractors with SFOR, employing local civilians. The firm built the base.
"However, a few soldiers will stay here as the keys have not been handed over to Brown and Root. They have 90 days to decide if they want to keep the base or not, but they already know the facilities, as they built it," pointed out Capt. Juan Sandoval, Public Affairs officer of the base.
Whatever happens, Camp Dobol will have a future. As for memories, Smith will keep two: "The good relationship with the soldiers of different nations we worked with, for example the Portuguese, and morale and welfare activities provided to break up the feeling of being away from home."

Related links: CIMIC
Nations of SFOR: US