Exercise Strong Guardian V

Capt. Benoit Guilloux
First published in
SFOR Informer#144, August 1, 2002

Exercise Strong Guardian V recently took place in Manjaca and Glamoc. Its purpose was threefold. To enable Multinational Division Southwest (MND-SW) to shift from a normal framework of Operations to enhanced Operations, develop effective drills and train the Divisional Reserve (DIVRES). Various elements of the division participated with the Dutch Battle Group (NLBG).

Glamoc - The NLBG had the lead in fighting a supposedly well equipped terrorist group. The alleged intent of this group was to prepare further attacks on the International Community, to include SFOR.

The threat
Major Hans van Dalen, deputy commander of the NLBG in Bugojno presented the exercise: "The purpose of this exercise is to destroy a terrorist group called Elba. In Manjaca, we carried out a static exercise; this one in Glamoc is a dynamic one where we try to destroy Elba during a live-fire exercise. Our intent is to train the DIVRES. To form it, train and synchronise it, as it is made up of British, Canadian and Dutch units."

The exercise did not have the intention to demonstrate anything to the local population; it was to conduct high intensity training. Strong Guardian is carried out twice a year in MND SW. The exercise kicked into gear when the Commander SFOR's helicopter landed. Brig. Gen. Philippe Sommaire, commanding general for MND-SE, also made the trip to Glamoc. He said: "Anything that a division carries out is of interest to the other divisions. Drill is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, we do not have such a range as Glamoc in MND SE, and the modus operandi does not include such an exercise. I was pleased to see the Canadians 105mm guns."

Multinationality works
The exercise consisted of several phases. The highlights consisted of an attack performed by the Dutch Leopard II tanks, the mounted and dismounted attack carried out by the Canadians and the exfiltration of a sniper team by helicopter. Canadian Lance Cpl. Yves Canuel, driver on a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV III) commented: "We were affiliated to the observation post. It is very interesting to have an overview of the exercise."

Canadian Cpl. Patrick Carriere explained: "I was in support of Charlie team, the Dutch combat team with Leopard IIs and YPRs (Tracked Armoured Personnel Carriers). It was excellent, all the targets fell."
Canadian Cpl. Eddy Hudon: "We engaged the targets with our LAV III 25mm gun. Then at 100m, the infantry disembarked and attacked with their small arms. All was arranged so as to not face any security problems. There was one security officer for each four infantrymen."

Major Gen. Tony van Diepenbrugge, Commanding General for MND-SW summarised the exercise: "We showed multinationality works with a life firing demonstration. The three nations believe in multinationality and turned it into a success."
However, Diepenbrugge added: "Under the present circumstances, I do not foresee the DIVRES to be used. But it is still there should it be necessary."



Leopard 2

















25mm or


350 hp

1500 hp



8x8 drive
Thermal sights
2m trench crossing
500km range

Fire on move
Manual load
NBC protection
Smoke grenade launchers

Storage space
500km range

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: UK, Netherland, Canada

Training and Exercises

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Photo: Cpl. Grant Rivalin

Note the Security Officer (last person of the group). Security is of paramount importance.

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Photo: Cpl. Simon Butcher

Helicopter en route to exfiltrate the sniper team uses its flares.

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Photo: Cpl. Grant Rivalin

Carrying out a bayonet charge.

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Photo: Cpl. Grant Rivalin

An LAV III (Light Armoured Vehicle) moves out during the exercise.

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Photo: Cpl. Grant Rivalin


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Photo: Cpl. Simon Butcher

Leopard I in progress (Dutch DIVRES).

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Photo: Cpl. Grant Rivalin

Last but not least, the infantry comes into action. (Canadian DIVRES).

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Photo: Cpl. Grant Rivalin

Camouflage is an essential part of military training for these troops.