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Key Leader Seminar at HQ SFOR

By Capt. Luis Barber
First published in
SFOR Informer #98, October 11, 2000

Sarajevo - HQ SFOR hosted the Strategic Reserve Forces (SRF) Key Leader Seminar (KLS) in Sarajevo Sept. 25-29. The aim was to inform SRF units about the operational situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to review the Contingency Plan (CONPLAN), concerning how the SRF should be employed.
This seminar put together more than 100 participants. Most of them were coming from non-SFOR organisations and units, like Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH), KFOR and from the nations contributing forces to the SRF, which is comprised of units from Argentina, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United States.
Lt. Col. Enrique Bohigas of the Spanish Army is appointed to the Joint Operations Center, J5 Planning, at SHAPE in Mons, Belgium. As the Project Officer, he is responsible for the publishing of plans concerning SRF.
"This is one of the usual instruction activities. It is carried out to complete the instruction of every unit in the SRF and to update its commanders relating to SFOR plans and the situation in Bosnia and Hercegovina," explained Bohigas. This seminar is also complementary to the last SRF exercise in Kosovo.
The first day at the Multinational Specialised Unit's compound was the welcome day. Attendees were briefed on the operational situation in Bosnia and Hercegovina. From all points of view, intelligence, operations, and so on, every section of the HQ SFOR updated the participants. Also, KFOR provided a brief about the lessons learned from SRF Operation Dynamic Response 2000 carried out in Kosovo.
The next day, MNDs and SRF members introduced themselves to the rest of the audience. Speakers gave some details about capabilities, limitations and others from each unit. After that, a working scenario was proposed. A scenario is always necessary when units are carrying out exercises or when plans are being tested. Only when the scenario is well understood can the work be done properly.
Then, the real seminar began. The way of carrying it out was through working groups. Five working groups (WG) were set up, the Commanders, Operations, Intelligence, Logistics, and Communication WG. Everyone had the chance to exchange ideas to get the benefits for all participants.
The air and ground recces of the areas of responsibility (AOR) of the MNDs came on Wednesday. The WG were divided to allow everyone to have representatives in every AOR. The MNDs briefed these scouts on their area.
The seminar culminated on Friday with the After Action Review, when the leaders of the WG showed their conclusions to the rest of the participants .
"This seminar was very useful because we had the possibility to familiarise with the CONPLAN and to meet people members of the SRF and, of course, to work out the idea how to operate in the future," said Maj. Tomasz Bak, a member of the Polish Strategic Reserve Forces.
COMSFOR, Lt. Gen. Michael L. Dodson, thanked all the attendees for the work done and closed the seminar.
And at the end, when Swedish Lt. Col. Bengt Alexandersson, HQ SFOR CJ7 Chief Training, and acting Chief CJ7, gave the participants some final words, everybody burst into applause rewarding the people responsible for coordinating this even. Alexandersson and his crew, comprised of Maj. Samuel Allin (UK), Captain Igor Kandrac (Czech Republic), Hugues de Mannoury de Croisilles (France), and Jan Runcak (Slovakia), Sgt. Klas Gustavsson, (Sweden), and Spc. Donald Duty (US)

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