A place called "Jumanji"
Lt. Pedro Fernández Vicente
First published in
SFOR Informer#134, March 14, 2002
A Tactical Subgroup of the Spanish Marines belonging to
the Spanish Battle Group (SBG) shares a camp with the Army
of Republika Srpska (VRS) in Duzi, near Trebinje. The Spanish
Marine's area of responsibility is SFOR's southern zone. They
cover the municipalities of Trebinje and its surroundings,
including the Montenegrin and Croatian Borders.
Duzi - The Duzi detachment differs from other SFOR bases
in that it is in the middle of a forest, well away from any
main roads. Travellers only end up there by chance or if they
"IFOR placed this detachment here, in an old Yugoslavian
Navy base. At the end of the war, the VRS took control of
this depot and began to store all kinds of ammunition. Currently
this storage site is one of the most important for the VRS,
with more than a thousand tonnes of munitions stored inside.
We joke, saying, if anything happened they would have to search
for us in Spain, as there is only a wire fence between us
and the storage site. We have a really good relationship with
the VRS. Surrounded by nature, life is very quiet, but with
the arrival of good weather we are visited by all kinds of
animals. This is the reason why the soldiers call this place
Jumanji, " said Major Francisco Mugica, Chief of the
Patrolling the border
"One of the main missions here is patrolling the borders,
especially the border with Montenegro. We control the border
day and night with patrols; we also control all the border
posts and access to them. We look for signs that could indicate
andy activities across the border, either by foot or by vehicle.
We normally patrol in armoured vehicles, but sometimes, due
to the steep terrain and the bad weather conditions we have
to do part of them on foot, in order to fulfill our mission.
Our patrols work to make it difficult for people to bypass
the border controls. We work closely with the State Border
Service, we fined them in more than 90 percent of our patrols,"
said 1st Lt. Manuel Rodríguez. "Controlling the
border against all kinds of smuggling is important, but it
is more gratifying for me to visit and support resettlements.
It is then that you realise the importance of why we (SFOR)
Not too isolated
"We have two medical vehicles: an evacuation armoured
personnel carrier (a Spanish BMR) and an ambulance. The evacuation
BMR is an Intensive Care Unit, and in case of a serious accident,
it can stabilise and transport two people. This equipment
increases our medical capabilities tremendously," said
Capt. Francisco Ruiz Silva, chief of medical services for
Related link: SFOR
Nations of SFOR: Spain