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
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.
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