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The guns of Glamoc

By 2nd Lt. Alexandre Barbé
First published in
SFOR Informer#111, April 18, 2001

The scenario of the exercise:
Ethnic armed forces began to fight on a small scale in the area. The Danish C Squadron had been deployed there. Some soldiers of the Polish infantry platoon set up a checkpoint on the road but they were fired at. They asked for support. The Kiowa supported the tanks, which then destroyed their targets. The Polish BRDM arrived to reinforce the fire with their 14.5 mm machine guns. Meanwhile, two Blackhawk helicopters came to rescue the Polish soldiers in the field. At the end of the exercise, the enemy (as usual) was defeated. A safe and secure environment was re-established.

Glamoc - A sudden flash highlighted the hill. Thunderstorms rang out. The Danish 105 mm Leopard 1 A5 guns poured fire. The Baltic Resolve exercise entered its final phase.
"We are the Taurus force which is supposed to deploy within Multinational Division - North (MND-N) or outside MND-N if needed. That's what we did here in Glamoc," declared Danish Maj. Soren Dalgaard, from the G3 cell at the Nordpol Battle Group HQ in Doboj. It was only an exercise, but it was based on a plausible scenario.

"Ethnic armed forces started to fight on a small scale. That's the reason why we were sent to this hot spot. A Polish infantry platoon set up a checkpoint, but it was fired at. Thanks to the tanks and Kiowa and Blackhawk helicopters support, we re-established a safe and secure environment," resumed Dalgaard.

But such an exercise couldn't be realised without any preparation to say the least. "We have three platoons of three tanks each and my own tank," said Maj. Dennis Hansen, commanding the Danish C Squadron based in Camp Dannevirke, near the town of Doboj.

The squadron came from the Prince Henrik Regiment in Denmark. For the exercise, only four tanks fired at the same time because the firing range was too small to allow the 10 to fire together. But all of them got the opportunity to fire, thanks to the different training during the week. Moreover, two days were taken to accurately fire the guns that had to hit their targets about three kilometres away on the hill facing them.

"In Denmark we can hit targets up to five kilometres away. But we modified our tanks for this mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to be able to fire up to six kilometres," commented Hansen. The exercise was not a game, although the soldiers had a good time. "It isn't easy to drive a tank here because of the small roads and hills. It's tough terrain for the tanks. The firing was really good. It's the only opportunity we had to conduct a live-fire exercise during our six-month tour," stressed Pfc. Lars Pedersen, tank driver.

"I enjoyed the exercise because it's good training for us and the tanks, even if we fired only 10 rounds today," confided Pfc. Martin Rothmann, loader. Even if the weather conditions were not the best, "it didn't affect us," he added.
The Poles too

However, as the battle group's motto said: "One mission, one team," the Poles also played their part in the exercise. A 20-soldier platoon from the infantry Alpha Company based in Doboj, was deployed in the field. It was the first exercise as an infantry platoon leader for 1st Lt. Andrezj Gardynik. "We prepared the exercise with the Danes and we had very good co-operation with them," he affirmed.

That could be seen in the ongoing exercise, which was perfectly co-ordinated. "(The soldiers) appreciated it because it allowed them to be outside the camp and to escape the daily routine. Moreover, it's a good opportunity to test our BRDM (APC) and our 14.5 mm machine guns," he added. They hit their targets from 1,300 metres away.

Nevertheless, good things never last long and the return to Camp Dannevirke is already prepared. "As soon as we're back, we'll be ready to carry out our usual missions. I heard that the Portuguese who took over from us during the exercise did a very good job," concluded Hansen.



Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Denmark, Poland
Training and Exercises