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Operation Crazy Horse

By Sgt. William Wilczewski
First published in
SFOR Informer #84, March 29, 2000

Mostar - Building on past experiences, Multinational Division South East (MND-SE) continued their series of operational training March 14-16 with "Operation" Crazy Horse - a division level exercise aimed to test the concept of their tactical reserve forces.
The operation, which consisted of reaction to sniper fire, terrorists action, demonstrations, and road blocks, included units from the Italian, German, French, Spanish, and Moroccan contingents, as well as specialists from the Argentinean MSU (Multinational Specialised Unit.) The operation was also the first to be solely executed in English - NATO's primary language. According to Division Commander Maj. Gen. Arnold Schwerdorffer, the common soldier had not had to face this language issue until now and he feels they performed very well under the circumstances.
The exercise's Operations Officer, French Lt. Col. Patrick Destremau, agreed, adding that the six-nation operation was key to the divisions operational readiness because it allowed them to not only overcome the prejudices towards language, but also towards other culture, mentality, and procedures, which he says is an intricate aspect of a multinational environment like SFOR.
"They are all highly professional (soldiers)," added Deputy Commander of MND-SE, Brig. Gen. (IT) Paolo Terzano, after the operation.
Based upon evaluation of this exercise, both Schwerdorffer and Terzano agreed that the structure of the division's tactical reserve should be altered for the time being. According to Terzano, he felt comfortable with troop co-ordinations at the battalion level and higher, but felt execution at company level and lower could use some work. "For real, especially in this kind of operation, the decisions must be very quick," explained Terzano. "To have that kind of efficiency and to be quick, we need the nation to be used to…their means of communications, their modalities, and their mentality …to tackle the problems."
Therefore, instead of integrating his tactical reserve forces, Schwerdorffer will rotate this duty between the different nations in MND-SE. "In an emergency, it is important that we work with the tactical reserve belonging to only one nation," he said.
Previous operations include "Exercise Dobrelji," which took place Feb. 1-2, and "Exercise Buccaneer," which took place Feb. 23-25.
When asked if the frequency of the last two month's exercises had ties to any foreseeable real world incidents within MND-SE, Schwerdorffer dismissed the notion saying, "These exercises were not linked with a future act. It is only to have an effective, permanent tactical reserve ready to be involved at short notice in case of emergency." He also added that he feels his troops are ready if such an emergency were to arise.