By 1st Lt. Javier Donesteve
First published in
SFOR Informer#112, May 3, 2001
Mostar - "Adventure Express / Dynamic Response
2001" is under way. It runs May 1-10 in the Balkans, including
Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
big effort includes the deployment of the Strategic Reserve Forces
(reinforcing troops from NATO and other contributing nations).
In preparation for it, training activities have been increased
in the whole theatre.
Specifically, in the Spanish area of responsibility (AOR), a training
exercise took place April 21-28 in the zone between Grude, Posusje
and Siroki Brijeg, in the heart of Canton 8 (western Herzegovina).
It was directed by Multinational Division - Southeast (MND-SE)
headquarters and run by the Spanish Battle Group, reinforced with
French, Italian and German troops, as well as a Portuguese company
from SFOR's Operational Reserve.
The goal of the exercise was to demonstrate the interoperability
between troops from different contingents. For this purpose, different
activities and scenarios were planned in the Operations Centre
and executed every day and every night by combined patrols to
Spanish and German troops trained together the morning of April
26. The scenario was the establishment of a checkpoint by a German
platoon on the road between Grude and Posusje, supported by elements
from a Spanish cavalry squadron. During the exercise, a Spanish
platoon was transported by helicopter to reinforce the deployment.
9 a.m. the convoy left "Mostar España" and headed
to Grude with eight VECs (cavalry scout vehicle), one VCZ (sappers),
one BMR (signal) armoured vehicle, and four German armoured personnel
carriers (APCs), two Luchs and two Fuchs. Leading them was Spanish
Cavalry Capt. Luis Joven.
convoy crossed Canton 8 smoothly and reached the point at 10:45
a.m. At 11 a.m., the German platoon had set the checkpoint. "German
platoons mix reconnaissance (cavalry) and Jäger (light infantry)
assets, with Luchs and Fuchs respectively," explained Warrant
Officer Andreas Bernstein, platoon leader. Near there, Joven had
established his command post and received news from every point
of the deployment.
few hundred meters further, Staff Sgt. Alberto Giner reached his
position in his VEC. "Our task is to mark and secure the
helicopter landing zone (LZ)," he said, checking the grids
with the Global Positioning System (GPS). Meanwhile, his crew
marked out the LZ with luminous sheeting to show the helicopter
pilot the lay of the field.
11:45 a.m., the Cougar landed, and a Spanish platoon rapidly got
out and headed to the checkpoint. Once there, they reinforced
the German deployment. Later on, with their goals accomplished,
they redeployed to Mostar.
At 1 p.m., at Joven's order, all the devices were dismantled,
everyone jumped into their APCs, and the convoy headed to "Mostar
España," where they were able to rest a couple of
hours. Another exercise was waiting for them.
Nations of SFOR: Spain,
Training and Exercises