Geographic Conference keeps SFOR
on the map
By Capt. Luis Barber
First published in
SFOR Informer #98, October 11, 2000
Camp Butmir -Col. Patrick Mc Niece, Chief CJ2, welcomed
attendees to the SFOR Geographic Conference September 30. The conference
got under way with 1Lt. Walter David's (acting Chief Geographic Officer)
opening briefing on geographic support to SFOR.
Amongst attendees were the Multinational Divisions (MNDs), Terrain Analysis
(TERA) Teams and the Technical Control Officer of SFOR CJ2 Geographic,
SFOR Engineer Branch and CJ4 Road Operations and Movement. Also present
was the Commander of the 28 Groupe Geographique Joigny, France, representatives
of Regional Headquarters Allied Forces Southern Europe (RHQ AFSOUTH),
and the Defence Distribution Mapping Agency (DDMA) from Garmshein, Germany.
Also present was the Chief of Map Supply in KFOR.
According to David, "The meeting was organised in order to cover
in depth issues such as co-ordination of tasks, and exchange of data and
products between HQ SFOR Geographic and other Geographic Teams that support
the MNDs. And to build a Theatre Geographic Information System (GIS) Database
for roads, bridges and tunnels."
The mission of CJ2 Collection GEO is to provide mapping, charting, geodetic
products and services to all components of the SFOR and the International
Community. "Our tasks include map supply, production and reproduction,
TERA, geodetic survey, Inter Entity Boundary Line (IEBL) and International
Boundary Line issues, and maintenance of the Geographic Server,"
The information that GEO produces is often printed in large quantities
by the BiH national geographic institute, Geodetski Zavod, Sarajevo. However,
most of their production concerns limited edition custom maps printed
on demand for branches of HQ SFOR. This is currently their most time-consuming
work and can be done only in the theatre and by GEO. In part this is because
they usually prefer to produce new editions of map, improving the quality
of their products, rather than simply reproducing them.
While many speakers employed Power Point presentations, WO2 John White,
the Technical control Officer of CJ2 GEO, preferred to joke about technology
using very large sheets of paper to show his charts and graphics. He explained
how map supply within SFOR is conducted and how map policy is decided.
The GIS database of roads, bridges and tunnels was one of the most important
subjects on the agenda. British Lt. Col. James McDonald, Chief of CJ4
JMCC, stressed that is very important to have accurate reports from the
patrols about the state of roads, bridges and tunnels.
According to Snr. MSgt. Dennis H. Ware, U.S. Air Force, Chief of the Map
Depot in Germesheim, Germany and RHQ AFSOUTH, "Attending the Geo
Conference proved to be beneficial by being able to hear directly from
the customers we support."