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Ready for reaction

By 1st Lt. Kristoffer Egeberg
First published in
SFOR Informer#113, May 16, 2001

The Romanian part of the Strategic Reserve Forces (SRF) took the road to Visoko in order to familiarise themselves before they could take over this part of the Italian area of responsibility (AOR).

Visoko - Accompanied by a team of Italian soldiers, 1st Lt. Marius Bumbac and a team from his platoon rolled out of the SFOR camp in Visoko to have one more look at their new AOR before the hand-over, in the frame of exercise Dynamic Response.
It was not the first time the Romanian troops had visited the Balkans. After the Romanian government assigned the 26th Infantry Battalion Neagoe Basarab as part of the Strategic Reserve Forces for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997, it was an essential part of Dynamic Response in BiH in 1998, and Dynamic Response in Kosovo in 2000. It was also a part of the NATO-led peace keeping mission in Albania 1997.
Although the Battalion can deploy 400 men, this time they only brought a detachment consisting of an infantry company and a headquarters, 154 soldiers in all. Their mission was to reinforce and assist the Italian Battle Group in Multinational Division - Southeast (MND-SE), deploying their troops in Visoko and their headquarters with the Italians in Tito Barracks, Sarajevo.
"We will take over the responsibility of the northern part of the Italian AOR. This training is a good thing for us. It is an opportunity to exchange experiences between Italian and Romanian troops," Bumbac said.
His Italian counterpart, 1st Lt. Michele Agostinetto, said he enjoyed the co-operation as well. While the Romanians took over for him and his men in Visoko, he went to the area of Pale to reinforce the patrols there. But first of all, he had to transfer as much local knowledge to Bumbac and his men as possible.
"It's good for us to see how they work, and to show them how we work. This way we can find a mix where we use the best from each other, improving our skills," Agostinetto said.
It was the first time he and his men worked closely with Romanians.
"But I hope it's not the last time we work with Romanians, because I think we work very well together," he said.
During the patrol, they visited Breca and Kakanj. Joint Romanian and Italian patrols also reached Semizovac and Krivajevici.
"When we have patrols like this, we go through the most important areas. There are a lot of small villages in this area, and not all the villages need to be covered by all the patrols. This part of our AOR has always been peaceful and quiet," Agostinetto explained.

Related link: Training and Exercises
Nations of SFOR: Italy, Romania
Restructuring and Reserves