Co-operation In The Snow

Capt Russell Craig
First published in
SFOR Informer#133, February 28, 2002

Members of the 1st Reconnaissance Platoon of the French Battle Group (FRBG) monitored members of the Federation Army (VF) on the ranges Feb. 25. This was part of their ongoing role to gather information within the FRBG area of responsibility.

Bradina - High above the Sarajevo to Mostar road, nestled among snowy hills and woods, two armies worked: members of the VF Rapid Reaction Brigade carried out a timed march and shoot, whilst French soldiers monitored their training and resources.
"The main point of the monitoring is to check the amount of ammunition, the number and type of weapons - for example, the type today is the M16 - and the type of live firing exercise (of the VF)," said Lt. Benoit Estour, recce platoon commander.
The monitoring was conducted by visual checks and by talking to the VF officer in charge. The relationship between the two groups, however, was one of co-operation, not hostility.
"To work with them (the VF) is very interesting. They are really trying to re-organise as a modern army. The soldiers here are some of the best, they are good shots…and they are well trained and have enough ammunition," said French Staff Sgt. Fabrice Casier, the Platoon Sgt.
The atmosphere was jovial and French soldiers took part in the march and shoot, within VF squads. The VF commander expressed that it was "very good to work with the French soldiers."

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: France
SFOR at Work

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Photos: PO Steve Wood

Soldiers of the Federation army’s rapid reaction brigade charge across the snowy hillside.

Bosnian Ferid Spahic (left) and French Cpl Frederic Michel (right) stand together after firing in the same detail.

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Federation soldiers race towards the firing point whilst the timekeeper looks on.