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The Transportation Platoon
of the Spanish NSE

By Cpl. Nicolas Marut
First published in
SFOR Informer #90, June 21, 2000

Mostar - Thursday is a special day for the Mostar - Ortijes Spanish NSE. It is when a C-130 Hercules aircraft arrives from Spain, with the new newcomers on board, and all the parcels and letters that soldiers have been waiting with patience. The NSE Transportation team, commanded by Capt. Javier Vila, is in charge of an average of 30 people and 7 tons of merchandise that the plane transports every week.

The team is divided in two parts. Six men unload the luggage and packages of the C-130 before embarking a new cargo. For this mission, they have only two hours, because the plane takes off to go back to Spain. During this time, Capt. Vila and his two associates welcome Spanish soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers who have just stepped on to the ground. "We verify that everybody arrived well, that they recover their baggage as well, and the other guide them toward the customs where Guardia Civil check their luggage," explained WO2. Emilio Gonzalo, Vila's deputy.

But the team's work does not stop there, because the capacity of the Hercules is not unlimited. And the biggest part of goods of the Spanish Battle Group arrives or leaves by boat in the Port of Ploce in Croatia. "We prepare the materials, we count it and prepare all papers so that drivers only have to take care of the transportation", explain Gonzalo. They also dispatch the materials between the different services and units of the Battle Group. In certain circumstances, such as the re-deployment of the "Extremadura XII" contingent by "Cordoba XIII", at the end last April, the rhythm of work is even harder.
The rest of the week is used for the preparing parcels and packets arriving from all Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH) toward Spain. With the arrival of summer, only one thing has changed: the C-130 will land on Wednesday in the end of the afternoon and take off the following day in the morning, to avoid staying parked in the sun.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Spain
SFOR at Work