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DJ Barracks move

By CPO Tim Adams
First published in
SFOR Informer #90, June 21, 2000

Trogir Croatia - "It shows our confidence in the way SFOR is performing its role in Bosnia and Hercegovina," said Wing Commander Barrie Simmonds of the move that British units are making from DJ (Divulje) Barracks to Zagreb. "The fact that we are able to reduce our numbers is a clear indication of improving political stability with local and national governmental levels which is a sign of confidence in SFOR and its means of carrying out business." The move out of the Split-Trogir area on the coast in Croatia has already started and will continue in various steps until they are completely relocated in other areas by January 15 of 2001.

One reason for moving the British Airport of Departure (APOD) to Zagreb is that it is closer to Banja Luka where most U.K troops are based. Incoming and outgoing personnel transiting through Split faced a six or seven hour drive between there and Banja Luka and required a convoy support centre along with more personnel to patrol the route. "We're able to get rid of all that extra manpower, close the line of communication from Split up to Banja Luka and refocus the line of communication on a much shorter area. Those are also much better roads from Zagreb to Banja Luka," explained Simmonds. The reduction in manpower will bring the British closer to achieving their goal of getting down to 2,000 troops in theatre by the end of the year 2000. SFOR will still share the DJ Barracks base with Croatian Armed forces because the Dutch will be moving in to take over the helicopter operations. "We have arranged to clear out our aircraft and equipment in a phased manner as their aircraft move in so as not to have any effect on operations in Bosnia and Hercegovina," said Simmonds.

The British move is expected to have an impact on several other SFOR operations that have been using the life support systems at DJ Barracks, like the National Support Elements and M&J Bridge Building Courses. They have been utilising the offices, accommodations and dining facilities. Some of the buildings will be handed back to Croatian authorities and a few others will be turned over to the Dutch.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: UK