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Change of bridge in Celic

By 2Lt Alexis Clement
First published in
SFOR Informer #88, May 24, 2000

Celic - When SFOR launched a temporary bridge in the town of Celic, December 1999, an agreement was signed with the municipality which stipulated that the city would be required to repair the old bridge as soon as it had enough money. According to the plaque commemorating the bridge opening, the installation was accomplished by a team composed of Americans from the 41st engineer peacekeeping battalion, the HVO (Bosnian Croat Defence League) and members of 2 Corps of the FBiH.

On May 17, after sufficient funds had been raised, SFOR followed through with its promise and began the process of de-launching the bridge. The de-launching lasted for one day and required the assistance of an American combat engineering platoon, 10 sappers of the 2 Corps of the FbiH army and 12 Russian sappers from the 1st Peacekeeping Russian Seperate Airborne Brigade (PRSAB).

"The team worked very well together even though we had difficulties with languages," said U.S. Lt. Daniel Lowry, de-launch co-ordinator.

This axis, located 35 km northeast from Tuzla, connects the towns of Celic to Koraj. It is very important for several reasons. Not only do refugees travelling home use it, but it is also used as a vital trade route for incoming fruit products.

In the afternoon, FBiH soldiers began repairing the old bridge. Damages were not very significant and the road was re-opened a few days later. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of May.

Related links:
The Nations of SFOR: Russia
The Nations of SFOR: US