By Capt. Vance White
First published in
SFOR Informer#129, December 26, 2001
and ammunition seized
More than 230,000 rounds of 7.62 and 9 mm ammunition
22 rocket-launched grenades
12 rifle-launched grenades
22 rounds of M60 high explosive anti-tank ammunition
22 long-barrelled weapons, with
45 anti-personnel mines
A small quantity of detonators and fuses.
On Sunday, Dec. 16, the United Kingdom Battle
Group (UKBG) collected a significant amount of arms and ammunition
stored in unauthorised sites in the Bosanska Dubica / Kosarska
Dubica Opstina (Municipality), Northern Republika Srpska, during
- "At the end of the day we were successful in two ways:
by demonstrating our will with a show of force; and by collecting
more than seven tonnes of weapons and ammunition," emphasised
Maj. Gen. Tonie Van Diepenbrugge, commander of Multinational Division
Southwest (MND-SW). In total the raids and voluntary surrenders
of weaponry and ammunition reached more than seven tonnes (see
box for details).
Operation Twister was carried out after intelligence reports identified
12 locations as possible illegal weapon storage (IWS) sites. More
than 600 soldiers from MND-SW deployed in the early hours of the
morning in an attempt to locate the weapons.
operation went very well, the people we came in contact with were
compliant and helpful," said Maj. James Robinson, officer
commanding 'C' Company, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles.
Because the searches of the 12 identified sites went quickly and
without confrontation, the battle group carried on with the operation
in the local area. Going from door-to-door, asking residents to
voluntarily hand over stockpiled weapons and ammunition, lead
to other significant finds of ordnance.
SFOR's mandate of maintaining a safe and secure environment within
Bosnia and Herzegovina, we undertook Operation Twister to show
we take our responsibilities very seriously," said Van Diepenbrugge.
"If I feel we need to conduct a similar operation in order
to reveal and eliminate illegal acts, we will."
The local police, along with members of the International Police
Task Force (IPTF) and the Army of RS (Vojska Republika Srpska,
VRS) co-operated fully with MND-SW when they were advised of the
operation early Sunday morning.
operations on Monday, Dec. 17, lead to the collection of more
ammunition and weapons. Co-operation with the local police continued
as they informed A Squadron, Household Cavalry Regiment, of 18,000
small arms rounds and about 80 assorted rockets, grenades and
tank rounds they found that had been recently dumped on the roadside
near the town of Dubica, at the Croatian border.
The ammunition and weapons collected over the two days will be
temporarily stored at a Weapon Storage Site of the VRS until MND-SW
co-ordinates their destruction. "The area around Dubica is
much safer today than it was just a few days ago," underlined
Capt. Darryl Morell, SFOR spokesperson.
Nations of SFOR: UK
SFOR at Work