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Task Force Jupiter

By Sgt. Henrique Vale
First published in
SFOR Informer #80, February 2, 2000

Vitkovici - The Transfer of Authority ceremony of Task Force Jupiter took place Jan 26, some kilometres from Gorazde, in the camp of Vitkovici. It marked the transfer of authority of the AOR of 1700 km2, from the Portuguese 2nd Airborne Infantry Battalion to the Italian 3rd Regiment Alpini. It is an area which was assigned to this same battalion of Portuguese paratroops in February 1996 under the mandate of the IFOR, and incorpoates three main camps: Sarajevo, Rogatica and Vitkovici in Multinational Division South East (MND-SE).
This ceremony uniting more than 130 Portuguese and Italians, was presided over by the commander of the Division, the French Maj Gen. Arnold Schwerdorffer and included the commander of the North Brigade MND-SE, the Italian Brig. Guiseppe Sabatelli as well as numerous local authorities. More than a simple departure, it was about greeting, eight Portuguese Battalions that have served in the area since 1996 and the ceremony marked the tight collaboration between them last and the Italians in the Brigade (which previously included Egypt). This was the message stressed by the commander of the 2nd BIAT, Lt Col. Antonio Manuel Cameira Martins in addressing the assembly. After having thanked the civil and military authorities for their presence, Martins reminded everyone of the results gained by the Portuguese contingent, in the last four years in the Balkans. He put the accent also on the importance of such a mission for his battalion, insisting that SFOR was contributed to a certain "civilizing process".
He thanked Maj Gen. Schwerdorffer,for the honour that he and his men had gained from serving under his orders. "I wish to pay homage to the effort that you have put into this mission and I hope that it will represent a incentive and an example in your next mission of contribution to peace, thus giving honour to your Army, your Country and justifying our motto," declared Martins to the 2nd BIAT, before they finished the ceremony by singing "Patria Me".

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Italy, Portugal
SFOR re-structuring - The Ongoing Process