By 2nd Lt. Alexandre Barbé
First published in
SFOR Informer#110, April 4, 2001
The Portuguese will take over the Dane's daily
missions during the next few days. Nothing more than a joint patrol
could best help them to dive into reality.
Doboj - A few snowflakes are not going to stop the Danish-Portuguese
joint patrol to drive its way. Soldiers make their path through
mud, even if they need to go in force.
With Danish 1st Lt. Bjarke Skov, platoon leader in the Nordpol
Battle Group tank C-Squadron, Portuguese 2nd Lt. Antonio Marques,
mortar platoon leader of the Operational Reserve (OPRES), drives
a reconnaissance patrol. He'll soon take over Skovs area
of responsibility for about 10 days. Meantime, the Danes will
participate in Baltic Resolve exercise, in Multinational Division
conducting all the missions of the Danes: patrols, weapons storage
sites inspections, refugee camps visits. Our goal is to maintain
these missions, not to change them. So we need to see what they
usually do," said Capt. Filipe Vieira, leader of 76 Portuguese
soldiers who arrived in camp Dannevirke, near Doboj, on March
26. A rifle platoon and a mortar platoon will be stationed there
for two weeks with their 21 vehicles, among which the Chaimites,
their armoured personnel carrier.
Arrived in the theatre at the end of January
for a six-month tour, the third rotation of the OPRES is composed
of three companies (323 soldiers) based in Visoko. The OPRES
is part of mechanised infantry and is divided into:
- an infantry company
- a cavalry company
- a support and services company, including a mortar platoon
- a staff team
Before taking to the road with two Danish vehicles
and two Portuguese jeeps, Skov is reparing the patrol in the ops
room. Marques and three sergeants get the instructions. A first
stop is scheduled in the town of Derventa at an International
Police Task Force (IPTF) station.
With Maj. Robby Zocher, the conversation starts. "We had
two traffic accidents and a house fire last week, but the area
is quite calm. We have a very good relationship with the local
police and the population," he stressed. The Portuguese don't
miss the opportunity of this first contact. It's also a way of
seeing how the Danes work, in order to do the same good job.
Ready to work
bit further, after the patrol has left the concrete road and the
drivers have to seriously deal with their driving skills on very
bad soil paths, they stop in a village. Some houses are being
reconstructed there. "This house had been blown up about
three days ago. The man who was rebuilding it and was living on
the first floor was not here the night it happened. IPTF and local
police are investigating," specified Skov. "I wanted
to see if there had been some changes since our last patrol here,"
Back on the concrete road, the patrol heads towards the town of
Bosanski Brod/Sprski Brod, on the Croatian border. It will be
back to Camp Dannevirke late in the afternoon. Now, the Portuguese
are ready to accomplish their mission.
Nations of SFOR: Denmark,
SFOR at Work