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When OPRES supports OPRES

By 1st Lt. Javier Donesteve
First published in
SFOR Informer#114, May 30, 2001

As the sun sets on the Glamoc Range, a Portuguese convoy heads home to their camp, set up a few kilometres away, for a well-deserved rest after a whole day of training and live firing.

Glamoc - But today is different. Instead of eating combat rations and sleeping on the ground, as an infantryman does very often, a pleasant cooked dinner, a hot shower and a comfortable tent were waiting for the men.
The Support Company of the Portuguese Operational Reserve (OPRES) deployed May 15-18 on Resolute Barbara Range, at Glamoc, for a training exercise in support of other Portuguese units. All the logistic devices, including maintenance, supplies, field kitchen, showers and refuelling equipment, among other things, were tested on the field.
The units that deployed for this exercise were the "Tiradores" ("shooters," infantry rifle coy) plus the mortar platoon, as well as the rest of the Support Coy. "The company includes, in addition to the fire support element (the mortar platoon), a supply platoon and four other independent sections: engineers, signal, medical and maintenance. The battalion headquarters personnel also belong to the company," explained Capt. Joo Paulino, commanding officer.
"For this exercise, much more logistical support than needed is being provided as a training for the logistic units on their specific role," Paulino said. "But life goes on in Visoko, where the Portuguese Battalion is based, and every team had to be divided to remain operational in both places."
The camp included inflatable tents, field showers, wash basins and kitchen, among other assets. Most of them were set up by the engineer section, led by Warrant Officer Jose Santos. "The section provides the manpower to do several jobs in the camp, such as set up the tents and the latrines or deal with the rubbish, among others," Santos said.
The signal team is operational 24 hours a day, run by Staff Sgt. Jose Silva and two of his men, Cpl. Jorge Rocha and Lance Cpl. Marco Ribeiro. They kept permanent contact among the deployed unit and its headquarters in Visoko.
While the warriors were engaged in maintenance tasks with their weapons after the live-firing exercise, dinner was being prepared by the two chefs, Cpl. Tiago Neves and Cpl. Nuno Guerreiro. "Today's menu: roast beef and rice with peas," Neves explained, under the watchful eye of platoon leader, 2nd Lt. Bruno Soares.
Everyone's stomachs welcomed the warm dinner, because "even in May, it is cold here," someone said. After dinner, it was already night, but activities were not finished yet. "Tomorrow the deployment ends and we will go back to Visoko. Many things are still to be done today," Paulino concluded.

Related links: Training and Exercises
Nations of SFOR: Portugal