Butmir IMP: The Spanish Guardia Civil leave

2Lt. Agustín López Marín
First published in
SFOR Informer#155, January 9, 2003

The current International Military Police (IMP) unit in Butmir is composed of a Staff and three platoons: The Italian Carabinieri, the Irish Military Police (IRMP) and the Spanish Guardia Civil (SPGC). During the second fortnight of January, the Greek Police will relieve the IRMP and the SPGC and taken responsibility for the internal security of HQ SFOR inside Camp Butmir.

Camp Butmir - Through its 159 years of history, the SPGC has carried out lots of different tasks and activities in the Spanish society and recently, in International missions.
Professional work
During the last six years the SPGC has performed its mission providing the closest security to the SFOR Headquarters Building. In conducting this task the SPGC represents the last shield, which protects SFOR's 'heart' in BiH. First Lt. Angel Luis Martínez Morcillo is on his second mission in BiH as a platoon commander. His unit is made up of one officer, one Sgt. 1st Class and 19 other ranks. "The SPGC has assigned some general duties. I can mention, for instance, that we have to provide a permanent security to the HQ SFOR, access control on a 24-hour basis for personnel and vehicles, roving sentry within the main building as well as escorting the Local Civilian Hired (LCH) personnel working inside. Furthermore, we have to maintain order and ensure the orderly exit of personnel in case of incident, establishing a security perimeter around the building," stated Martínez.
To succeed in obtaining a complete surveillance requires considerable effort. Sgt. 1st Class José Miguel Tejedor García is the deputy platoon commander, "We have to accomplish different tasks depending on the place, the main-gate or the Reception Desk to HQ building. We are responsible for the control of the vehicles' access and the allocation of parking slots. Furthermore, we must check appropriate identification requirements and implement other orders (prohibition of mobile phones, laptop computers, etc.)," emphasised Tejedor. This unit has to be trained on responding emergency situations; Sgt. Joaquín Triguero Sesé added: "We follow a program that provide us proficiency facing, for instance, a installation intruder, a hostage, an explosion or a demonstration."
A complete qualification
Logically, this level is reached by the high qualifications that SPGC members have. Some of them have yet performed UN peacekeeping operations in BiH in the International Police Task Force (IPTF), as for instance, Sgt. Manuel Raya Moreno or Sgt. Diego Porras Jiménez. "Along our career each of us attended with success varied courses, with a determined specialisation; traffic control, judicial investigation, counter-terrorism, de-mining activities, custom control," explained Raya. "The primary goals and tasks were different. We trained and monitored local police, investigated cases related to the violation of Human Rights and helped the returnees and displaced persons."
There is always a laughing face
To emphasise the good relations among the SPGC with the Carabinieri and the IRMP, Sgt. Raul Nevado Peña stated: "We had in the first times the language's obstacle; but with the collaboration of all members of Butmir Camp, we enthusiastically tried to keep smiling. More and more people understand our job."

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Spain
SFOR at Work

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Photos: Sgt. Diego Ropero Pastor

Sgt. Olaya (l.) and Sgt. Montoya ensure that military and civilian personnel comply with the security regulations at the entrance of the building of the Headquarters.


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First Lt. Martínez (l.), Sgt. 1st Class Tejedor and Sgt Collazo (r.) design the training program to respond to emergency situations.


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Sgt. Molina (r.) and Sgt. Anxo control vehicle access at the main entrance to HQ SFOR.