A new contingent in the SPFR BG

By Capt Jose Antonio Latorre Remon
First published June 13, 2003

Between the 6th - 14th May, mainly Spanish Paratroopers and Royal Marines, travelled to BiH in order to replace their predecessors and colleagues in Europe Base, Mostar. These troops are part of the SFOR deployment within MNBSE as part of the Spanish French Battle Group (SPFR BG). For 6 months, this contingent is to be working with the French `Paras` in the SPFR BG.

Mostar - The Spanish Infantry Colonel Salvador Terol has commanded the SPFR BG since May 11th, a veteran parachutist who has spent most of his military life in the Spanish Army Parachute Brigade, situated in Alcala de Henares, a city near Madrid. He has a lot of experience of operations within BiH, this being his third. The first was in 1993, as part of UNPROFOR, then again in 1999, as a member of the SFOR HQ in Sarajevo.

The Spanish contingent of the BG is made up of principally the 1st Spanish Parachute Battalion, located in Paracuellos de Jarama, a village near of Madrid and the Spanish Royal Marines. The Spanish Marine Corps is the oldest in the world, they are very experienced in stabilisation operations, especially in BiH, but also in Albania and Iraq. Their main barracks are in San Fernando, a town near Cádiz. Within in this contingent there are also soldiers belonging to the Royal Guard Regiment, the 21st and 2nd Signals Regiments and Civil Guards.

The French contingent is mainly composed of the 1st RCP (Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes), located in Pamiers. This unit is the oldest of the famous French 'Para' Brigade with experience in this and other theatres of operations.

The whole contingent has the same desire; to work as a cohesive unit in order to accomplish all the tasks with the same success that their predecessors have. To participate fully with all the other nationalities within SFOR, so that there will be a stable and lasting peace in this beautiful country. They wish to thank their predecessors, the XIX Spanish Contingent and the 19th French Mandat, for all they have done during their tour within BiH.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: France, Spain

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Photos: Capt Jose Antonio Latorre Remon


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