Paladin Edelweiss Exercise
Lt. Pedro Fernández Vicente
First published in
SFOR Informer#134, March 14, 2002
All four Battle Groups of Multinational Division Southeast
(MND-SE) took part in Paladin Edelweiss Exercise. The exercise
was carried out from March 5 - 9, over a large area including
Fojnica, Kiseljak, Hadzici, Kresevo and Bradina.
Bradina - It consisted of two hot spots, where new scenarios
were developed to test the readiness of SFOR troops for rapid
Exercise Hot Spot One
In this scenario two people have died as the result of a road
traffic accident between a Non-Governmental Organisation's
(NGO's) car and a local one. Hard-liners take this opportunity
to attack the NGO team and begin to riot. Terrorists raid
the NGO's accommodation and take them as hostage. A frenzied
crowd surrounds the building. The situation is almost out
of control. Multi-National Div-ision-SE sends a company of
the Multinational Specialised Unit, a team of Special Intervention
Group (SIG) and an armoured company from the German Battle
Group (GBG) to regain control of the area.
"I think that it is necessary to train for short periods
with the MSU in this kind of non-conventional scenario, due
to the fact that an armoured company has a different method
of working than an anti-riot company. We have a liaison officer
from the Carabinieri. There is an especially difficult moment
to co-ordinate, which is when our armoured vehicle has to
join the fighting as well as cover the MSU's rear while under
enemy fire. At this moment the army faces the task,"
said Capt. Christian Rink, German Company leader.
"Our performance has two different parts. First to take
control of the situation, free the house and keep the crowds
away. The second is, while this is happening, the Italian
SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team assaults the house,
frees the hostages and seizes the terrorists," said Italian
Lt. Antonio Cavalera, Carabinieri anti-riot platoon leader.
Exercise Hot Spot Two
In the second scenario information is received about odd movements
of people and tracks in an old abandoned factory.
"We received the order to investigate something strange
that happened in this area. Our company had to set up an operation
to reconnoitre and take control of the target without arousing
suspicions. We surrounded the area without being seen and
allowed free movement in the zone. We got information, co-ordinated
and guided the Spanish assault group with our communications.
And just when the assault group joined in and closed in on
the target we closed and isolated the area " said Capt.
Sansguichem, French Reconn-aissance company executive officer.
"Our company arrived at the assembly zone during the
night and we were put in contact with the French reconnaissance
elements. We received all the information through them. When
you are going to join at an unknown place where the enemy
is present; you really need all the information, otherwise
you are blind.
"During the night we deployed two scout fire support
teams, these team were our eyes in the first moment of the
assault. It was getting light when the weapon smugglers were
loading a truck. That was the moment to assault the factory.
The first moments are of vital importance. You have to use
the initial surprise to obtain a strong enough force position
to dissuade smugglers from reacting and turning the operation
into a massacre" commented Lt. José Luis Zanfaño
Hidalgo, Spanish platoon leader.
Moroccan soldiers played the role of the smugglers. The realism
of their behaviour was part of the success of the exercise.
Nations of SFOR: France,
Training and Exercises