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Polish support

By Sgt. Michael Maddox
First published in
SFOR Informer #96, September 13, 2000

Ljubija - While Czech soldiers took part in Operation Strong Lion in Glamoc, Polish soldiers from Doboj in MND-N filled the positions left open in the Czech Camp in Ljubija. It was a task that opened up several opportunities for training and experience for the Polish soldiers.
During their stay at the Czech camp, the Polish soldiers performed patrols like the Czech soldiers do when they are at the base. Sgt. Kristopher Budka, a platoon sergeant for the Polish Army, said the time spent Ljubija was interesting.
"We are happy to help the Czechs patrol their whole area of responsibility," he said. "Because of this, we are able to exchange information about activities and our AORs. I think that we could be more successful in the future because of this."
The help of the Polish was much appreciated, said Capt. Mojmir Svarc, commander of the 1st Company, 43rd Czech Mechanised Battalion.
"The cooperation between the Czech and Polish soldiers has gone well with no problems," said Svarc. "The language is very similar and our nationality is very near. We have experience with other soldiers from SFOR and find that the Polish are one of the best to work with. I think it has been great working with them."
PFC Arthur Kania, Polish Army, said meeting the soldiers at the Czech camp was an something he would remember for a very long time.
"I like this, to meet other people, other nations. It's very good for us," he said.
As with any mission, there was also some down time where there were no patrols to conduct. The Polish soldiers took advantage of this time to do a little extra training in hand-to-hand combat where they learned various holds, take down manoeuvres and how to deliver blows to the enemy.
Budka said he thinks training like this is very important to do "It's a basic skill for soldiers that must be known," he said. "When we have no duties, it's a good time to practice soldier skills.
Kania added, despite some bumps and bruises, the physical training was a nice break from patrolling.
"The training is very good for us because it's very important. You never know what could happen if you are ever in a conflict. Plus, I enjoy learning new things," he said.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Poland, Czech Republic
Related articles: Portuguese support, Operation Strong Guardian
Exercices and training