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Czechs on the top

By Cpl. Nicolas Girault
First published in
SFOR Informer#115, June 13, 2001

Three Helping Communication Centres (HCC) manned with 10 or there about, in Bosanska Krupa and Prijedor areas, maintain good radio cover over the Czech area of responsibility.

Sabici In the Bosanska Krupa area is a hill with abrupt and wooded slopes, surrounded by numerous identical hills. Only an initiate can distinguish it from the others: surrounded with gabions and barbed wire, are containers covered with sandbags and camouflaging fillets perched on top. Few antennas emerge from the installation.
We are in the Sabici's HCC that, alongside with Lysina and Pranici's, constitute the 5th Czech Mechanized Brigade's aiding communications. Its task is to re-broadcast the radio messages which are stopped by the field topography.
Present for six months or one year
The signalmen are there for six months and "maybe for one year if higher command decides," said Sgt. 1st Class Vladimir Duda. Many of them are paratroopers from the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade, but in fact they come from different units in Bohemia or Moravia.
To them, time only exists through radio links and national television. When they are not on guard or on duty, they are in the weight room, they built and installed themselves.
Cpt. Jozef Dundalek, press information officer, explained, "They step down regularly, one after the other, to bring food and water from the camp; for other things, they are self-sufficient." Communicators have no other outside links, but with children on the way to school, near the Czech post; they give them fruits and cakes.
IPTF as well
They maintain and service the automatic radio help set, which helps communications between the two Czech Battalions - in Donja Ljublja and in Bosanska Krupa - helicopters, planes, the Banja Luka divisional headquarters or Czech Republic.
When the automatic system employed is impossible - especially with teams (patrol, engineers, CIMIC) who are working outside the fixed radio covering area - signalmen repeat messages they receive from the moving units to the Czechs camps.
Cpt. Otto Prokop, the Donja Ljublja signal boss, explained that "in times of urgency, even the IPTF uses our services." He concluded that "our material is better than during IFOR's time, but communication traffic is less important."
At the same moment, even in the night, in Lysina, Pranici and Sabici, Czechs on the top keep a watchful eye on the waves.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Czech Republic
SFOR at Work