Joint Resolve: Weapons cache discovery

Lt. Alex Kendrick
First published in
SFOR Informer#159, March 6, 2003

On the evening of Wednesday Feb. 19, members of SFOR's Multinational Specialised Unit (MSU) uncovered a large cache of weapons and ammunition in a rural area east of Bosanska Dubica. The find included twenty three MG 42 medium machine guns, two rifles, a number of mines and some 2000 rounds of ammunition of a variety of calibre.

Bosanska Dubica - The find was made by members of the MSU's A Company, a unit formed from personnel drawn from the 7th "Laives" Regiment of the Italian Carabinieri. They were in the area as part of Exercise Joint Resolve XXVIII conducting a routine Operation Harvest, the ongoing campaign to remove illegally held weapons, explosives and ammunition from circulation, when they discovered the cache at an isolated farm up in the hills.

Well maintained weapons
"The cache was found in twelve boxes sitting in the middle of the floor down in the cellar of the farmhouse," said Lt. Marco Giacometti of the MSU. "The weapons we uncovered had not just been abandoned. They had been well maintained by whoever had hidden them there and so it was obvious they would be coming back for them some day. Instead they are now out of the hands of the criminals and will shortly be cut up and melted down."
The MSU officers were attached to Multinational Brigade Northwest (MNB-NW) for the duration of Exercise JR XXVIII. This is a reinforcement exercise run every three months to practice the rapid deployment and subsequent employment of the different elements of SFOR's Tactical Reserve (TACRES) in realistic operational scenarios across Bosnia and Herzegovina. For this exercise, elements from A, B, C and D Companies of the MSU were given their own area across the northern part of MNB-NW's Area of Responsibility in which to operate. In this way Italian Carabinieri demonstrated their ability to deploy into a new area, familiarise themselves with the region and begin to operate effectively at short notice.

Another discovery
Giacometti went on to say: "We gained valuable experience of running our own operations in an area that was new to us during JR XXVIII. To also make a significant Operation Harvest find such as this is immensely satisfying."
This find was one of a number of notable achievements by the MSU during its time with MNB-NW. B and C Companies, manned by personnel from the Territorial Units of the Carabinieri, discovered a number of trucks in a furniture factory in Novi Grad that had been fitted out with secret compartments often used for smuggling. They also recovered three 60mm rocket launchers, six rockets, four mines, nine rifles and 17 handguns in the village of Ljeskare near Prijedor.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Italy, UK
Training and Exercises

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Photos: Lt. Marco Giacometti

Members of A Coy, MSU in the farmhouse cellar with the found weapons.

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The full extent of the weapons cache is displayed.

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A box of MG 42 medium machine guns found in the cellar of the fram house by A Coy, MSU.

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Another box from the weapons cache with two more MG 42s and some mines.