MSU trains Slovenians and Romanians

Staff Sgt. Lisa M. Simpson
First published in
SFOR Informer#137, April 25, 2002

Sarajevo's Multinational Specialised Unit (MSU) conducted a training exercise to certify its newest assets in riot control and PIFWC seizure: a Slovenian and a Romanian platoon.

Camp Butmir - The International Police Task Force located a person indicted for war crimes (PIFWC) by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The PIFWC was hiding in a house and the neighbourhood men, who were protecting him, began to riot. The IPTF alerted the MSU, requesting assistance with the mission.
Main mission: riot control
"The MSU's main mission is riot control throughout the theatre but we are also trained in PIFWC seizure," said MSU training officer, Romanian Lt. Petros Andras.
After attempted negotiations with the neighbourhood leaders failed, Slovenian and Romanian soldiers, clad in protective riot gear, marched slowly into the village. The soldiers were able to control the crowd while clearing a path for the Carabinieri Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team to enter the house and seize the PIFWC.
The scenario was developed to certify the newly arrived Slovenian and Romanian platoons that are assigned to the MSU. The multinational and multifaceted certification exercise covered several areas simultaneously. The combined company trained in riot control without weapons, riot control with weapons and how to work with a SWAT team. The certification exercise was the culmination of the 12-days of training the platoons received in Camp Butmir's MSU compound.
"The platoons participated in riot-control training in their countries but they received more training here so that they could learn the MSU technique. The training they received will help the platoons work together in the same way," said Carabinieri Lt. Gianluigi Bevacqua, B Company commander. "This was the final exercise after a week of training and we can really see that the Slovenians and the Romanians know the techniques."
Certification together
Prior to arriving in theatre just two weeks ago, the Slovenians had already received extensive riot-control training. According to Slovenian platoon commander Capt. Robert Ostir, "We know this kind of training; this is our third mission in BiH."
Although the Romanian and Slovenian platoons were certified together, they will not be a part of the same company within the MSU. According to Andras, the way the companies are distributed, there are three Italian platoons and one Slovenian platoon in one company; three Italian platoons and one Romanian platoon in another company and soon, a third company of Italian Carabinieri will be augmented with a Hungarian platoon.
As the training officer, Andras worked closely with the platoons during their training and helped to develop the scenario for the training exercise. After the platoons received their certification, Andras said that he was pleased because everyone had worked very hard.
"I'm not happy because the exercise is over, I am happy that they are trained and that I know that they are ready to handle any situation that should arise."

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Slovenia, Romania
Training and Exercises

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Photos: Lt. Philippe Mouret

Gladiator gear: Slovenian and Romanian soldiers wear protective clothing when conducting riot control missions.


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The SWAT team prepares to seize the PIFWC.


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MSU police dog attacks a rioter.


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The Slovenians and Romanians clear a path for the SWAT team.