Joint Resolve: a multinational exercise
SLt. Melanie Roodenburg
First published in
SFOR Informer#159, March 6, 2003
To be able to respond to different types of threats, SFOR
soldiers also train during their mission. One of the exercises
was an exchange between the three Multinational Brigades.
During Exercise 'Joint Resolve XXVIII', several units from
Multinational Brigade North and Multinational Brigade Southeast
were put under the command of Multinational Brigade Northwest.
Once the Transfer of command was done, the second part of
the rehearsal was carried out, including an operation named
'Kerberos'. The theme of this operation was the smuggling
Suica - Several units have been exchanged between the three
MNBs. An American company joined the Canadians, Italian Military
Police and Hungarian infantry were attached to MNB-NW and
a German company from the German-Italian Battle Group was
put under the command of the 17 (NL) Mechanised Battalion
Garde Fusiliers Princess Irene. They took over the normal
framework operations for the Dutch soldiers. These daily activities
included, among other things, patrols and guard duties.
The Dutch, who have been made available, performed operation
Kerberos. The operation mainly focused on the theme of illegal
weapons. The search for these weapons led to what could be
called a 'mobile harvest'. Generally speaking, during Operation
Harvest, soldiers chat with inhabitants and go from house
to house, asking the people to voluntarily turn in their weapons.
People can also do it anonymously at specially appointed locations.
For the 'mobile harvest' of Operation Kerberos, Vehicle checkpoints
(VCP) were set up. Canadians, Dutch and Italians established
checkpoints all over MNB-NW, mainly on Main Supply Routes.
Americans joined the exercise with four Apache and three Blackhawk
helicopters With these helicopters they supported the VCPs
with aerial information. From February, Monday 17 until Sunday
23, several checks were conducted. The Dutch were on nine
different posts along and in the area of Routes Emeu, Pelican
On the post P3, close to Suica on route Gull, it was very
cold despite the radiant sun. On the open plain, the strong
wind made the temperature drop even more. The third platoon,
unit six, manned post P3. Commander On Scene (COS), Dutch
Cpl. Mike Huijsmans gave a sketch of the situation: "It's
very cold here, some endure that better than others. We do
everything to stay warm. Fusilier 1st Class Dave van Essen
was unlucky. He didn't handle it very well and was taken away.
But even though it's freezing, the guys are still doing a
very good job. It's running smoothly."
Huijsmans proudly spoke about his work and the results of
the checks. "We try to pick out as many as we can. We
random-check vehicles that look suspicious. We check their
papers and the car itself. If we come across suspicious material
we react in a certain way. We seize unlicensed weapons and
ammunition. We report all other illegalities to the local
authorities. Yesterday we actually found some unlicensed ammunition.
I never expected to find anything. It is positive that we
found them, because that's why we're here. Besides, it keeps
In general, the civilians reacted positively to the investigations.
After searching the vehicle the Dutch soldiers hand over a
flyer on which the importance of the operation is made clear.
Fusilier 1st Class Gijs van Lieshout shared his impression
about conducting searches. "Apart from the cold, it's
doable. The first reaction overall is irritation, but once
they're stopped, they react positively. In general they think
it's very good SFOR does this."
Nations of SFOR: Germany,
Training and Exercises