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Red Mill flexes reserves

By Cpl. Diego Bunuel
First published in
SFOR Informer #99, October 25, 2000

Kalinovik - All German soldiers except for a patrol have been pulled out of their area of responsibility when a situation flares up. Local authorities are asking for SFOR's help in handling it. What can be done? It's decided that it's time to call in the tactical reserves to handle the situation until Germans can resume their position in the area.
This was the plot as soldiers from Germany, France, Spain and Italy took part in the Multinational Division Southeast Exercise Red Mill Oct. 16-17 in the village of Jazici near Kalinovik.
This was just the beginning of the scenario the soldiers faced. The actual exercise incorporated many facets, said German 1st Lt. Frank Gobbers, one of the player coordination cell supervisors.
"The scenario has multiple problems in the German AOR and this means all of the German Forces are located in other places while there is a hot spot here in Kalinovik/Jazici with anti-Dayton elements," he said. "Because the forces are deployed to other spots, the tactical reserve arrives here with an air operation. All of the elements of the tactical reserve will provide the box to ensure that local police supported by the IPTF can arrest the criminal."
"The first elements are the Spanish PC which arrives here with two or three platoons to secure the entire area. Then after everyone settles down, the other elements, Spanish and Italian, arrive in vehicles to reinforce the closing of the village," explained Gobbers. "One of the first things that has to be evaluated is how the Spanish make contact with the German patrol to make a transfer of authority possible. After that, the Spanish commander takes over the area and he is responsible."
"They will also face several events like where the bad guys who are played by a French platoon, want to escape with weapons. There are also demonstrations, media incidents and they will locate a paramilitary who has created an incident ," he added.
Spanish Lt. Col. Rafael Roel, tactical reserve commander during the exercise, said his soldiers were glad to take on anything the exercise could throw at them, even situations that they don't face on a regular basis.
"It is important for us to participate in an exercise at this level. We've only had a few chances to actually deal with helicopters during our exercises because our unit in Spain is a mechanised unit. No mechanised units are being heliported," he said. "I was a helicopter pilot for 16 years, so that has made this easier for me during the deployment and the use of them."
German Maj. Sven Helmet, G-3 Plans in MNDSE and director of the exercise, said that use of the helicopters was one of several skills that were being evaluated during the exercise.
"There were three points to the exercise, the first was to verify the concept of an air deployment of the tactical reserve forces of MNDSE," said Helmet. "We also wanted to see how the elements of the nations in the division could cooperate in a close operation in the company level.
"We have seen an Italian company, a Spanish company, under the command of a Spanish command post and control of the German Battle Group. The French Battle Group provided the OPFOR for the exercise, which integrates all of the nations in the division in a joint environment to evaluate their capacity to cooperate with each other and overcome the language problems they may have," he said. "The third purpose was to validate the concept of isolating a limited terrain in support of local authorities to enable them to fulfil their duties and allow them to receive the proper support from SFOR."
Roel said he was pleased with the results the soldiers of the tactical reserve achieved.
"Everything has been working very well. This has been very good, intense training during the deployment. The result is obvious and the lockdown of the area is very good now," he said. "We have the main role in this exercise and I believe that the goals that the commander was expecting have all been met."

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: France, Spain, Germany
Training and Exercises