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CJ2 GEO-we show the way

By Capt. Luis Barber
First published in
SFOR Informer #91, July 5, 2000

Sarajevo - CJ2 Geo's mission within SFOR HQ is to provide mapping, charting, and geodetic products and services to all components of SFOR and the international community. Following re-structuring, CJ2 Geo now falls under the command of Chief CJ2 Collection and has a total strength of 12 personnel consisting of a Headquarters Group, a Theatre Map Depot and three Geo Teams (UK, French, and Canadian).

There are several other Geo organizations located throughout BiH. "There is a U.S. Tera team and map depot located in Tuzla to support MND (N), a Canadian/UK Geo Team in Banja Luka to support MND (SW), and a Canadian Geo Team in Zgon to support the Canadian Battle Group in MND (SW). MND (SE) also has a Geo Team," commented Maj. Ingo Gennat (GE Army), Chief of CJ2 Geo.

The Theatre Map Depot itself is located in Butmir and is staffed by German soldiers.

"The Map Depot is responsible to supply maps to SFOR HQ, the MNDs, and the International Community. Between 1 and 1.5 million individual titles are held in the Depot which equates to nearly 15 million DM worth of products," stated PFC Class Lawrence Richardson of the German Army. German PFCs Dirk Vonholt and Sven Prater usually unload and stock shelves by hand prompting the comment, "Paper weighs more than you can imagine. Fifty kilos gets very heavy".

In-coming requests for products or services are handled by the HQ Group who then forward the request to 1Lt. Walter David (IT Army), the Deputy Chief Geo and Tera Teams Commander. He then assigns the work to a particular team based on requirements and applicable mapping software.

"One of our most requested products is the SFOR Route Map. Unit Disposition Maps and Helicopter Landing Sites Maps are also popular," he stated.

"Throughout the entire production process, quality control and accuracy of information are critical, both on the base map and the layers of information being added to it," commented Master Warrant Officer Don Jessome (CA Army), the Technical Control Officer for CJ2 Geo. Gennat added, "Information comes from many sources, both military and non-military, so we must be sure we portray that information exactly as it was given to us."

1Lt. Anthony Caillet (FR Army) who is the commander of the French Geo Team noted, "We are placing the emphasis on trying to improve the base map rather than the SFOR information layers as names sometimes change year to year. As well, updating information saved as vector data is quite fast."

"CJ2 Geo is responsible for stocking and providing a myriad of products which include topographic maps at various scales, thematic maps, anaglyph maps, satellite imagery, country studies and briefs and fly-throughs. We also provide terrain analysis and surveys when required. We have had involvement with such things as, Westar, and a Tuzla survey," Gennat emphasized.

CJ2 Geo remains fully capable and committed to providing a full spectrum of products and services to SFOR and the International Community by living up to its motto, "Small in numbers, big in initiative." Gennat jokingly added, "You can go anywhere, but without your map you will probably get lost."

SFOR members can request Geo products through their chain of command, or International Community members through their liaison officer. More information may be obtained by telephoning Geo in Butmir/Sarajevo at IPN 5233. "In the near future SFOR and NATO LAN users will be able to visit our website. They will have access to a lot of Geo information simply by clicking a button."

Related links:
SFOR at Work
Nations of SFOR: Canada, Germany, UK