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British forces share their experience with EAF

By Cpl. Diego Bunuel
First published in
SFOR Informer #98, October 11, 2000

Manjaca - Joint Military Commissions (JMC) usually take place around a table where the senior staff of SFOR and the Entity Armed Forces meet.
But exceptionally the second JMC of the current British Battle Group in Mrkonjic Grad took place in the field on Manjaca Range on 6 Oct.. The high command of the Republika Srpska Army based in Banja Luka had asked for a demonstration on field deployment of head quarters and support elements by the 1st King's Own Royal Border Regiment.
After some 30 military and civilian guest arrived at the range, they were divided into three groups and rotated between as many stands.
The first exhibition involved the field deployment of a command post and the communication set-up in wartime. The second dealt with the recovery of broken-down APCs by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and the final display demonstrated the techniques used by the British Forces in Regimental Aid Post (RAP).
"This event is about the professionalisation of the Entity Armed Forces," said Capt. Tim Manton, of the Australian Army in charge of organising the exercise. "It a way for them to see how we work and it allows us to meet them in a different environment."
Col. Rajko Kohjovic, said he had gained a lot from the first JMC last June which discussed military police standard operating procedures and training.
"I would be surprised that an officer or soldier could attend one of these and not have learned something," said Konjovic. "It's an excellent way of meeting."
At the field hospital demonstration, Kohjovic mentioned that taking care of their wounded had been a priority during the Bosnian War.
"During the war our medical line was right behind the front line and because of that many lives were saved," Konjovic said. "In this demonstration the lines are farther away."
But aside from this example most participants on both side of the demonstration agreed that they had more similarities than differences.
But for Capt. Hamish Cormack, the operations officer, the most interesting part of the JMC revolved around the interpretation of what an order is because the Yugoslavian Army had been trained in Soviet-era rigid command.
"What they were really interested in the way we understand command," Cormack said. "We understand the intent and work out the ways of carrying it out."
But the event wasn't just all work. After about two hours the guest and staff moved onto the pistol shooting range where each competed to be the best shot. Then the party moved to a field tent where they enjoyed chicken curry and rice. "The best exchanges are usually held around good food," said Manton.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: UK
EAF professionalisation
SFOR at Work