A shooting challenge
Capt. Jose Antonio Latorre
First published in
SFOR Informer#164, August 1, 2003
The French/Spanish Battle Group organised a Shooting Patrols
Challenge on the 27th of June at the firing range of Macipolje
in the village of Nevesinje. In the middle of a great storm,
the 6 patrols ran and shot with enthusiasm while representing
Nevesinje - There were 6 patrols: one from the Spanish Parachute
Company (Para Coy), one from the Spanish Marine Coy, one from
the French Para Coy, one from the French Recce Para Sqn and
one from each of the CSS (Combat Support Supply) Companies,
(Spanish and French). Each patrol was comprised of one officer,
two NCOs and seven soldiers.
The event started with a 7 km race. Afterwards the patrols
had 5 minutes to check their equipment and to prepare for
the shooting. Once this time was up, they had to run 190 m
to reach the firing post.
An interesting military competition
Sergeant Del Campo, of the CSS SP Company, is used to running
this type of challenge in his Para Unit, and he explained,
"There are several differences with the Spanish competition.
Instead of shooting from a standard position, four patrollers,
including the patrol leader has to remain standing and use
a sand bag parapet. Also they only have 90 seconds to run
to the firing point and to shoot".
"It was the first time that we participate in this kind
of challenge. We areb more accustomed to run much further
and then to have to undertake precision target shooting, but
this is not important we all put in maximum effort. We would
have won if we had not incurred a penalty. We have returned
with a joyful feeling, having put in our maximum effort. We
will participate in the next challenge, to improve on this
third place", explained Sgt. Leveque part of the FR Para
To ensure impartiality there were both Spanish and French
referees, and to maintain the bi-national feel the logistics
was a combined affair as well. Working and training together
is not difficult for the Spanish and French soldiers, as regular
exercises are held between the two countries, particularly
All soldiers are winners
" We must recognize that the real winners of this challenge
are the FRSPBG members, involved in the six patrols. Cohesion
in the BG is a daily reality and we are proud of it. This
challenge contributes to enhance this cohesion, remarked
Lt. Ibañez, leader of the winning Spanish Para Company.
The success of this shooting patrol was due to the enthusiasm
and effort of all the troops belonging to the FRSPBG who participated.
The challenge demonstrated the excellent co-operation between
the French and Spanish soldiers working together to bring
peace and stability to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Nations of SFOR: France,