By 1st Lt. Javier Donesteve
First published in
SFOR Informer#114, May 30, 2001
Rogatica - Everything is ready. Master Cpl. Andrea
Corrias, the section leader, has received his orders. All details
were carefully planned, and his men are already on the two "Vuemes"
(what the Italians call their VM-90 trucks) with the engines running.
Today's task is a patrol in the area of Sokolac, in the far west
of the company's area of responsibility (AOR). And patrol begins!
leave the detachment every day for a wide variety of missions,
from supervising the resettlements where the DPRE's (displaced
persons and refugees) live to the control of the "Orange
Zone" (the border with Serbia and Montenegro), or the monitoring
of the Federation and Republika Srpska armies," explained
Capt. Ricardo Fani, commanding officer, Italian detachment of
This company-size detachment is the only one that the Italian
Battle Group holds, apart from their main camp in Tito Barracks,
where the main part of the contingent is based. Located in a former
hotel in the centre of Rogatica, it will soon be moved to the
outskirts of the town, where a new camp is being built. The company
provides security to the difficult area between Gorazde and Srebrenica,
divided into Bosnian-Serb (Republika Srpska) and Bosniac (Federation)
zones, which witnessed some of the worst bloodbaths during the
the rest of the Italian Battle Group personnel, mainly Alpini
(mountain troops), members of the 151st Infantry Regiment compose
the coy, Sassari Brigade based in Cagliari, Sardinia. After tours
in 1996 and 1998 in BiH, and in 2000 in Kosovo, it is the fourth
time that this regiment has provided personnel for peacekeeping
"The company incorporates four officers, 14 non-commissioned
officers and 124 from other ranks, organised in three operational
and one logistic platoon. The Cavalry Squadron from "Lanceri
di Novara" Regiment supports the coy with a quick reaction
platoon," explained 1st Lt. Ivan Enis, deputy commander.
"One platoon is engaged in security tasks within the detachment
every day and the 'antenna' of Zahrid (a re-broadcasting station).
The other two platoons are involved in operational tasks."
with local police and international organisations such as IPTF
(United Nations International Police Task Force) in Visegrad or
Gorazde is usual. The area of Gorazde, with 25 resettlements and
about 1,000 DPRE is a 'traditional' hot spot in BiH. Fortunately,
for the time being, the situation is quiet and under control,"
Fani explained. "We are now co-operating with ICMP (International
Commission for Missing People) concerning some exhumations to
be performed in Kurtalici, near Visegrad."
Gennaro Palermo is another very busy member of the detachment.
He is the medic. "Italian soldiers' health is good, so he
has time to provide medical assistance to locals. He dispatches
every Monday in Rogatica, but also goes often to other places
like Visegrad, Kosovo Polje or Zepa," Fani said. "We
help the local population in many other ways, like carrying water,
distributing humanitarian aid or demining, like the Italian Battle
Group EOD Team has recently done in the area of Gorazde,"
Nations of SFOR: Italy
SFOR at Work