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Estonian presence patrol

By 2Lt Alexis Clement
First published in
SFOR Informer #90, June 21, 2000

Doboj -The Nord-Polish Battle group is essentially composed of Danish and Polish soldiers. It also counts in its ranks a smaller contingent of Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian soldiers. The Estonians are, stationed in Dannevirke camp, near Doboj, and are currently about seventy-five strong. They are accustomed to working with the Nordic countries and train a lot with them. Last year, the 1st squadron of the Estonian Peacekeeping centre, specialised in UN or NATO type missions was in Lebanon with a Norwegian contingent and worked with their equipment. Here in Bosnia, they work with Danish kit. Before arrival, this squadron of fifty- percent reservists and fifty- percent professionals trained for two months in Denmark. The soldiers learned how to use the different equipment as well as familiarising themselves with Danish tactics.

In BiH their mission consists essentially in presence patrols in their Area of Responsibility. Six times a week, every group of the three sections that form the squadron carries out a patrol. They patrol in Danish-owned Light Armoured Vehicle, the Mowag Eagle, and use different routes every day. These patrols have several aims. The patrols can meet the local population and can discuss their problems - for this reason there is always an interpreter present, even though the estonians can pretty much understand the locals because their languages are similar.. They are also patrolling to affirm daily the presence of SFOR in this area.

This contingent arrived on March 20 for a period of five months. This mission is the third of this kind for the majority of them. The majority of them speak some English and this makes their job easier. "Our army is still very young, we need therefore to learn the techniques of other countries," explains Sgt. Tiit Rooden,chief of the 1st Section of the 1st Platoon of the Squadron.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Estonia