The crossfire of the Dragoons
Cpt. Óscar Tarrero
First published in
SFOR Informer#147, September 12, 2002
Exercise DRAGON-02, took place July 22-24, 2002 and was
organised by the Spanish Cavalry Squadron 'Dragones de Villaviciosa'
(Dragoons of Villaviciosa), from the Spanish Battle Group
(SPBG). This exercise was conducted to test reconnaissance
patrols, as well as introduce other procedures, materials
and sharing experiences.
Buna - Five Patrols participated in the exercise. One Canadian
(reconnaissance group), from Multinational Division Southwest,
one French (Foreign Legion, Legion Etrangere) and three Spanish
(infantry, Marines and cavalry), both from Multinational Division
Each Patrol consisted of a chief, deputy chief and no more
than eight explorers, with two tactical vehicles (HUMMWV,
BMR, VEC, VBL, and Coyote).
Four hard kilometres with seven obstacles
The exercise was composed of seven samples during the three
On the morning of July 22 an obstacle race was made in Buna,
south of Mostar. The race route was four hard kilometres with
seven obstacles (crossing a river, passing by a wire, wire
) and a grenade throwing test.
During the afternoon an identification test prepared by the
Intelligence Unit of the SPBG took place as well. The purpose
of this test was to evaluate the knowledge of tactical symbols,
uniforms and ranks, and materials (vehicles, light weapons,
During the night an evasion was prepared; another hard sample.
The evasion was combined of several orientation stretches
(compass, air photographs, sketch
) and other incidents.
On Thursday July 23 driving and shooting tests were developed.
The driving test took place in Mostar-España Base during
the morning hours. This test consisted of several stations
(narrow path, loading into a truck, zigzag
) in order
to prove the driver's ability. The individual weapon shooting
was thought of as a combat firing exercise, with a previous
race and limited time.
Star test, the Tactical Reconnaissance, was conducted on Wednesday
morning at a location near Ljubuski. During the itineraries
each patrol was using its own tactical vehicles. On their
mission they encountered various weapons and material, and
had to deal with the incidents (destroyed vehicle, observatory
where they could show their abilities during this kind of
During the afternoon a helicopter reconnaissance was carried
out over the same area as the morning try out. The group was
supported by the MND SE Multinational Army Aviation Battalion,
based in Ploce (Croatia), which worked with a German BO-105.
The prizes were given during the reception made by the SPBG
because of the Apostle Santiago's celebration, the Holy Patron
of Spain and of the Cavalry Branch.
All the participating units carried out a great effort by
combining the training for the exercise while at the same
time completing their daily missions. The atmosphere was positive
and friendly, enabling the participants to realise just how
powerful the multinational units are.
Several conclusions can be taken into account from this exercise,
but the most important one is the inter-operativity of the
small units and their will to understand the tactical field,
no matter what their language is, or their flat.
Related link: Training