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Italian engineers

By Sgt. Michael Maddox
First published in
SFOR Informer #95, August 30, 2000

Visegrad - The work the Italian Engineers from Sarajevo are doing in the community of Kosovo Polje is a hot and dirty job. But after all, being engineers they are used to a little hard work.
In this case, that hard work of removing the rubble of former homes will pay off for returnees to the village who wait to begin rebuilding their homes.
The engineers received the mission to clear the area from their higher headquarters, said Capt. Camillo delle Nebbia, Italian Battle Group Public Information Officer.
"This activity was asked of us by the United Nations High Committee for Refugees because international agencies couldn't do this," he said. "So the Italian Battle Group was given this activity by our division."
Delle Nebbia said work in the area has been going on for several weeks.
"First, EOD came in and cleared the area for evidence of mines, then the engineers began work on removing the rubble," said delle Nebbia. "We clear this area of the rubble, and now the work is continuing. We transport the rubble from the area to a local dump site for rubbish."
During the EOD sweep, some ordnance was found, but not enough to cause any major problems, said 1st Lt. Giuliano Lodrini, liaison officer for the engineers.
"I don't think it is dangerous here," said Lodrini. "They found two bombs unexploded, but there is not evidence of mines. This is a safe area and okay for the work to continue."
The engineers are removing all of the rubble, but are leaving the foundations of the former houses in place so the refugees will have a starting place during the rebuilding. In the meantime, the refugees are living in tents in the area and have begun working on their homes as foundations are cleared.
One man said he really appreciates all of the work the soldiers are doing to helping him get his life back to normal.
"I am very happy for the work that the Italian soldiers do here," he said. "We see how the Italian soldiers work very hard each day. It's wonderful."
He added, he also feels safe having the soldiers there both day and night as they live in a camp next to the work area.
WO Giovanni Pontorno, of the engineer platoon, said he is glad that he and his fellow soldiers can be a part of the rebuilding in Visegrad.
"I am happy we can help the refugees. I hope that when we finish our work that they will continue the building of their homes and social life. This is important for their future," he said.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Italy