Zagreb SFOR Base
By CPO Tim Adams
Zagreb Croatia - SFOR has several bases and facilities in Croatia, but none more important than the Kumrovec International Community (KIC.) Many Croatian SFOR facilities are larger than KIC, but considering that it is located in the capitol city and its main role is to provide a liaison with COMSFOR (Commander SFOR) and Croatia, it becomes one of SFOR's most significant assets.
"There is a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Croatia and NATO, and of course we can't just sign it and leave it alone," explained Canadian Lt. Col. Ken Lee, second in command at KIC. "The SOFA requires administration. Differences of opinion and so on have to be ironed out. Liaison is ongoing between SFOR and the various levels of Croatian government. We are here to manage that effort and make sure nothing in Croatia happens that would detract from the mission in Bosnia and Hercegovina."
Lee points out that for the operation to work properly, SFOR has to
have Freedom Of Movement (FOM) and a good working relationship with
"We have to be here to do our job anyway and we have to have a place to live, so we've been given a second role," said Lee. "We've been tasked with administering a garrison type of operation."
That means a number of other military units with interest in the region, like National Support Elements (NSE's) and communication detachments, are allowed to lodge and maintain offices at KIC. US and British Post Offices, Dutch, German, Italian, Canadian and other national contingents can all be seen using the facilities.
Although the British AirHead has recently relocated from Split to Zagreb, it will not mean a significant increase in the number of people at KIC.
"One of our garrison tasks is to maintain the ability to house up to 50 transient people," said Lee. "We are only going to have three or four more people permanently living here because the planes only come in once a week and they have decided it is easier to support them with personnel from Banja Luka."