Rapid Resolve II
By CPO Tim Adams
Camp Comanche - For centuries the steep mountains and valleys of Bosnia and Hercegovina impeded invading armies, but on a recent sunny afternoon that same terrain assisted an advancing force by masking its movements.
Six C-130 Hercules aircrafts packed with nearly 200 paratroopers streaked into the coast from Italy at speeds up to 600 kilometres per hour before they stealthily manoeuvred up the valleys using the Balkan buttes to cloak their charge from radar. Each aircraft was in precise position to do a special job when it emerged over the drop zone near Camp Comanche in Multi-National Division North (MND-N.) Some of them jammed radio and radar frequencies while others discharged flares and chaff to divert surface-to-air missiles.
The timing, speed and spacing of each airship had been carefully worked out in the planning stages of Operation Rapid Resolve II. All the elements were synchronised and choreographed like a great ballet in the sky. In precise sequence, paratroopers spewed from the sides of the big birds at a surprising speed.
clear skies were suddenly filled with billowing clouds of parachutes
that precipitated sky soldiers and dripping weapons.
Rapid Resolve is designed to exercise and demonstrate NATO's ability
to reinforce SFOR's assets with Strategic Reserve Forces that are
stationed over the horizon, out of theatre, according to Capt. Kyle
Hadlock, an operations officer with the Southern European Task Force.
"We're testing the deployment capabilities of our paratroopers
and our rapid response ability," said Hadlock. He also explained
that NATO is always prepared to reinforce its deployed forces by quickly
projecting power from great distances.
objective of Operation Rapid Resolve II was to give the different
nationalities of MND-N the chance to work together with elements of
SFOR's Strategic Reserve. After the airborne insertion, the paratroopers
were lifted out of the drop zone by helicopters simulating battlefield
conditions. The troops then spent several days participating in ground
reconnaissance patrols with personnel from MND-N, the Nordic-Polish
Battle Group and the Turkish battalion.
think the experience and the chance to work with other troops is great,"
said Pfc. David Jones. "Just being in field and training with
other nations is worth it."