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The Kupres "Grizzlys"

By Cpl. Nicolas Girault
First published in
SFOR Informer#114, May 30, 2001

The Canadian Battle Group took over control of the two main Weapon Storage Sites (WSS) in its area of responsibility. In Kupres (Federation, Canton 10) a company of the 3rd Battalion from the Royal Canadian Regiment and a mortar platoon from Tomislavgrad now assure the site security.

Kupres - On May 16, when he saw several "Grizzlys" (Canadian armoured personnel carrier) in front of the Kupres camp, a soldier from the Federation Army (VF) said, "SFOR is finally taking over the control of the site"
The Parachute Company, A Squadron, 24th Field Squadron and a mortar platoon entered - at the same time - in two Weapon Storage Sites (WSS) located in Livno and Kupres. Swiftly and without violence, the operation was carried out at the request of the Federation Defense Ministry; the ministry was not sure about the loyalty of some of its men. These measures are not permanent ones. SFOR has only to secure the sites during a transitional period; a chain of command able to carry out these duties will be soon re-established.
A re-organised site
In Kupres, "we didn't know if soldiers were loyal or not, so we asked them to leave," explained Maj. Don Hoisell. Soldiers gave the keys to the Canadians and gave them indications about minefields in the area before leaving. Local authorities (municipal and police) and the population were kept aware about SFOR's action by radio messages.
"Last month we brought equipment, weapons and ammunition from Tomislavgrad, Glamoc and - in part - Livno," the major continued. Sites were re-organised and improved to make the VF-H soldiers' task easier. Moreover, it was put under the Canadians check, just as in Bugojno by the Dutch.
Bringing barracks back to a good state
"As far as comfort is concerned, it could be better - they lived in awful conditions!" said Pvt. Alexandre Laroque. At the moment, new WSS occupants are cleaning and refurbishing the barracks, within their capabilities.
Hoisell explained that they want to return the barracks to the Bosnian-Croat soldiers in a better state than they found them. "We don't know how long we will stay here, a couple of days or few months," he said.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Canada
SFOR at Work