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Spanish CIMIC Project

By Maj. Marie Richter
First published in
SFOR Informer#119, August 8, 2001

The Spanish Battle Group (SBG) in Mostar have a team of committed soldiers who work in the Civil-Military Co-operation Company (CIMIC). They have a vast area of responsibility and they do their best to help.

Bacevici - A resettlement near Mostar was the place the CIMIC representatives visited on July 27. On this occasion they invited their Spanish doctor from the barracks to see if he could help the local residents.
Although there is a local doctor in the neighbouring town, the residents are elderly and cannot travel that far. They also have not enough money to pay for the treatments that they need. The doctor volunteered his and the nurses' services to help the team in caring for the residents.
Impromptu clinic
On arrival at the village they visited a lady who was over 90 years old and gave her a full health check, discussing her problems, aches and pains via an interpreter. The old lady was pleased to see the doctor and the nurse as she had difficulty walking and other underlying medical conditions related to her age. After seeing the lady they prescribed some treatments and gave them to her with instructions about how and when to take them. By the time they had finished with the first patient, word had travelled around the village and there were others on the doorstep already waiting to be seen. The team obliged and began what had now turned into a clinic. The doctor, 1st Lt. Orellana commented on his role: "I am officially here just for the SBG but I am happy to help the CIMIC team whenever I can, especially in helping these needy people."
Visiting the house bound
Next the team went on to another house which several generations in a family shared. Two members of the family were bed-ridden and the doctor went in to see them both. The families welcomed the CIMIC team who are a familiar sight in the resettlements.
The Spanish CIMIC Officer, 1st Lt. Sanchez La Fuente, described their role and responsibilities:
"We have 8,000 displaced persons and (returnees) in resettlements, which we try to help. Often they are in areas up in the mountains that are difficult to get to, but we supply water to them when there is no rain and try to assist in whatever way we can."

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Spain,
CIMIC, Humanitarian Aid