WSS: Ongoing operations in MND-SW
Capt. Benoit Guilloux
First published in
SFOR Informer#141, June 20, 2002
Joint Military Affairs (JMA) in MND-SW contributes to
the divisional task of a safe and secure environment as written
in the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP) by assisting,
monitoring and guiding the Armed Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Banja Luka and Novi Travnik - Chief JMA in Banja Luka, Canadian
Lt. Col. Daniel Menard explains that the importance of having
a Weapon Storage Site (WSS) is obvious. His team has been
busy lately with operations.
Under Op Gauntlet, there was a reduction from 147 WSS to only
58 in the divisional Area of Responsibility. The operation
included the consolidation of a number of sites that have
to be in compliance with a set of rules.
Under Op Vantage the focus is on the reduction in the number
of the sites as a result of the downsizing of the Armed Forces.
Unfortunately, there are several locations where issues have
to be addressed. Sgt. David Burr, Desk Officer and a reservist
with the Canadian Grenadier Guards, pointed out that some
sites were located next to areas where people live: "Our
most important site is 80 by 10 metres and there are 40 houses
next to it. Sometimes these houses were built without a license.
Joint Military Affairs operations officer, Capt. Iain Hurst
explained: "The one our personnel shall inspect today,
in Krcmarice, is the second most important within the division.
There are SO-7 rockets stored there." Krcmarice is a
WSS of the army of Republika Srpska (VRS) near Banja Luka
where the inspection team checked the weapons.
But the triggers were missing. They were in the Banja Luka
Metal Factory, stored in a container. Canadian Lt. Col. Luc
Boisvert, SO2 JMA Plans explained: "Technically, the
idea is to hold all the triggers of these missiles whether
they belong to the VRS or the Federation Army (VF). However,
there is a major difference; the VRS has a lot more."
Hurst added: "All MNDs will, in due time, control all
the triggers." There is also a site with no less than
30 tons of napalm oxidant that adds concern and should be
Also within MND-SW, in Novi Travnik, sites are monitored.
Dutch 2nd Lt. Michiel Duning has three groups with a total
of 20 troops from the Regiment of Boreel Hussards. He has
been visiting the nearby VF WSS. Dunning commented: "This
is the first time we do this WSS inspection. SFOR, a year
ago, had divided the weapons and ammunitions. The lists today
are pretty compatible with what we found. We check again as
I want to be sure that what I shall hand over to my successor
is what is really here."
The Dutch opened and thoroughly checked a number of containers
stored with boxes of weapons. There are special SFOR seal
stickers to be applied but the soldiers are installing, in
addition, a leaded one. They do not want these boxes to be
opened again, as has apparently been the case. Dutch Sgt.
Jair Lemoine takes his job very seriously: "I see it
as a nice job. I try to help to recognise the right model
so that none or very few discrepancies arise in the future."
Nations of SFOR: UK,
SFOR at Work