From a mixed team to full responsibility
Lt. Philippe Mouret
First published in
SFOR Informer#136, April 11, 2002
At Sarajevo International Airport, a mixed Bosnian and
SFOR staff provide a range of services: fire duty, air regulation
Sarajevo - The State Border Service (SBS) is the first Bosnia
and Herzegovina (BiH) state level, multi-ethnic law enforcement
agency. At Sarajevo airport, SBS duties include the passport
and immigration control and civilian building security. Its
role will soon expand to runway security working in co-operation
with the French Air Detachment (DETAIR) commandos who have
performed these duties until now.
A multiple co-operation
Combined teams operate in two other areas: firemen and air
regulation. All emergency services are under the authority
of DETAIR Commander Col. Thierry Mounié. The firemen
ensure the fire security of military and civilian aircraft
and the provision of rescue services. Since December 2001,
these tasks have been jointly entrusted to a French Rescue
and Fire Security Troop (Section de sécurité
incendie et sauvetage, SSIS) and to a detachment from Canton
Sarajevo's Professional Firemen Brigade (Profesionalna Vatroga
sna Brigada, PVB).
The SSIS consists of ten fire soldiers from the French Air
Force and are equipped with a Versatile Intervention Quick
Vehicle that carries 1,000 kg of powder and with an Aerodrome
Fire-Fighting Foam Vehicle transporting 7,200 litres of water
The PVB detachment is 28 firemen strong, commanded by Kemal
Cacan. They have five intervention vehicles with a capacity
of 30 tonnes of water and 3,000 litres of emulsifier. Forty
Sarajevan firemen, certified by the International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO), usually train with the DETAIR. Cacan
explained: "For us the difficulty is the rotation of
people every four months
[Except that], there is no
problem in working with French firemen
There is no differences
in procedures." French WO1 Yannick Colin specified: "The
common job helps to understand things." WO2 Clément
Gamboni, SSIS Chief, explained: "The acquired proficiency
allows us to work without giving orders and to be free from
The plane defines the way to work. The ICAO
requires us to be on the plane in less than three minutes.
The best is in less than two minutes. Otherwise, everybody
Mounié specified: "We are in a transition period
The intention is to transfer all the competence of fire and
rescue by next summer." Technically everything is ready.
It is from a legal point of view that responsibilities must
be clearly defined.
The same level of integration is in place in the airport tower.
"The aerodrome control is ensured by the local air traffic
controllers," explained Capt. Pierre Le Dem, tower chief.
SFOR only provides a watch supervisor who "ensures the
approach co-ordination, the monitoring of all frequencies
and advice to the civilian controllers to maintain the free
flow and security of traffic," stated WO1 Gilles Nugues.
On the airport, ten controllers are already certified by the
ICAO and EuroControl (The overall air traffic services manager
for Europe). Seven more are to arrive.
Emina Turulja, Bosnian Air Traffic Controllers chief, was
doing this job before the war. She has been working with French
since February 2000 and said: "At the beginning there
were communication problems but we found solutions and now
we work as one team."
The French military radar equipment is still monitoring aircraft
approach. When it is replaced by civilian equipment, at the
end of 2002, full responsibility will transfer to the BiH
Nations of SFOR: France
SFOR at Work