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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," said David.
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."

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