Training For Peace in BiH
Capt. Christine Bazarin
First published April 25, 2003
Spectators who braved the elements on Apr. 11 to attend
a Live Fire Exercise in Glamoc were rewarded with an impressive
display of battlefield co-ordination, tactics and firepower.
Tank and mortar platoons from 17 (NL) Mechbat GFPI (Guard
Fusiliers Princess Irene) - backbone of the Dutch Battle Group
(NL BG) and Federation Army forces conducted there their first
joint training exercise from 6-12 April.
Glamoc - Hosted by the NL BG based in Bugojno, invited guests
from Headquarters Multinational Brigade Northwest and the
Federation Army (Vojska Federacije, VF) attending a visitors
day were given the opportunity to observe the successful integration
of their soldiers. Bosniac armoured soldiers from the 7th
Motorised Brigade (stationed in Zenica), Bosnian-Croat mortar-men
from the 3rd Guards Brigade and Dutch troops conducted platoon-level
Only seven minutes
The afternoon's events began with a blast as rounds fired
from Federation AMX30 and Dutch Leopard tanks pounded targets
across the track-torn landscape. Following a light lunch,
visitors were driven to a position approximately one kilometre
away where mortar teams awaited their fire orders. A static
mortar shoot conducted by Federation forces was followed by
a dynamic display of speed and accuracy, as mechanised Dutch
forces responding to a call from their Forward Observer, arrived
on scene and began launching their 120mm rounds. Only seven
minutes had elapsed before mortars were in place and the first
rounds were airborne.
"The aim of this type of training is to help create
the foundation for relationships that will allow these soldiers
to work together effectively within the Armed Forces in Bosnia
and Herzegovina (AF in BiH). It is for the benefit of the
people of BiH," said Lt. Col. Harold Jacobs, commander
of the NL BG.
Initiatives, such as this joint exercise, not only provide
valuable training for the Af in BiH in accordance with SFOR's
mandate under the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP)
but also demonstrate the level of co-operation that exists
between the Bosniac and Bosnian-Croat components of the Federation
"We can be proud of what we have achieved today,"
said Operations Warrant Officer, WO2 Brands Corné,
who is currently on his fourth tour in BiH. "Previously
I couldn't imagine any of these forces training together,
but many things have improved since I was first here. These
are well-trained, professional soldiers and this is a good
opportunity for them to train and socialise with each other.
It's important for troops to realise they're all the same."
Related link: Training