Moroccan Exercise Taza
Maj. Abdallah Ben Grain
Compiled by Capt. Russell Craig
First published in
SFOR Informer#140, June 6, 2002
May 2-4, the Moroccan contingent (MC), that is part of
Multinational Division South East (MND-SE), carried out an
exercise involving helicopters to practice their role as a
Nevesinje - The MC typically provides security for Camp Ortijes,
MND-SE Headquarters, and the French Battle Group's camp. However,
during Exercise Taza, they took to the skies in a multinational
Execution of tactical missions
"Exercise Taza was to teach our soldiers skills in heliborne
exercises and in the execution of tactical missions that we
have to be able to conduct in Bosnia and Herzegovina so as
to be able to fulfil our role as the divisional reserve,"
said Maj. Abdallah Ben Grain, Moroccan chief of operations.
Three sections of the MC's 2nd Company, and one section of
the Support Company, deployed into the Kula Valley at Nevesinje.
Ben Grain explained that the Multinational Army Aviation Battalion
was used for the deployment. Aircraft used for the exercise
included two Pumas, two Cougars for troop transportation,
two Gazelles as escorts and a seventh helicopter that operated
as a command and liaison post. However, the troops didn't
spend all their time in the air.
"The heli-lift flew from Mostar to Odzak where the troops
dismounted, they then had a 10 km march to the bivouac area,"
said Ben Grain.
Despite the gruelling march, troop morale remained high.
"After the flight we made a long route march. In the
bivouac area afterwards we had some personal time. We prepared
food in the area - a forest - and it was nice to be doing
so in nature, not surrounded by CORIMECS," said Pvt.
El MiLoudi El Falquir.
The following day consisted of familiarisation with different
helicopter types, and a tactical exercise. In the morning
the MC practiced with the helicopters, honing skills and learning
firsthand how turbulent a stealthy insertion by flight can
"I learned from the exercise some tactical methods, and
the procedures for embarkation and debarkation with different
helicopters," said Sgt. Moussa Hadarek, HQ, Pl logistics
The tactical exercise consisted of the MC neutralising and
disarming a group of extremists played by the MC's support
company through a mixture of stealthy helicopter flights and
CIMIC as well
Throughout Exercise Taza, the MC conducted Civilian Military
Co-operation tasks (CIMIC), in settings that often reminded
the MC of Morocco.
"We have left here with a very good impression of the
people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We now have a greater understanding
of the people here, so it was a successful CIMIC operation,"
said Ben Grain.
The CIMIC mission brought humanitarian aid to 20 families
in the village of Mahala, as well as dental treatment for
the same village and the village school of Guberas.
On May 14, the MC continued to display their enjoyment of
working in a multinational environment while also celebrating
the 46th anniversary of the foundation of the Moroccan Royal
Armed Forces. Many members of MND-SE took part in the celebrations.
Related links: Nations of SFOR: Morocco
Training and Exercises