Multinational Sites Control Unit
By Capt. Jesus Campuzano
First published in
SFOR Informer #75
Mostar - With its main base located a few meters away from the Multinational Division South-East (MND-SE) Headquarters (HQ), in the Mostar Airport Camp, the Multinational Sites Control Unit (UMCS - Unit Multinacionale de Contrle des Sites) spreads its activities all over the MND-SE area of responsibility (AOR). Created in June 1998, it became operational on Nov. 1, 1998, taking over the brigade-level responsibility of inspecting ammunition and weapon storage sites of the Entity Armed Forces (EAF).
"This unit was created to standardise procedures and maximise results. The inspections are carried out by teams which undergo common training follow the same rules. Only this unit inspects EAF installations. The experience acquired in the inspections is accumulated and shared. So in the future, the hand over of these operations with other organisations will be more easy and effective," explained German Capt. Uve Burger, UMCS Deputy Commander. Today, after more than a year of operating and about 950 site inspections, the UMCS has fulfilled its supporting role.
"The 66-strong unit is made up of French, German, Italian, and Spanish personnel, including interpreters. The unit commander relies directly on the MND-SE commander, but works close to the Faction Liaison Office (BLF - Bureau Liaisons Factions) and the Information and Operation elements in the MND-SE HQ.
"Our main mission is to inspect the EAF sites in the AOR of our division - not only weapons and ammunition, but infrastructure and also tracking some activities like movements or training. This contributes to the Peace stabilisation process, making sure that the EAF's have only the level of warlike material authorised in the Dayton Peace Agreement. Other missions help facilitate the liaison between the Entities and contribute to the collection of information," said Spanish Maj. Luis Estebaranz Montero, UMCS Commander.
To accomplish its mission, the UMCS has a command team, six two-nation teams to carry out the inspections of the AOR , and a staff based in Mostar. The staff consists of a documentation team (to keep site data up to date, and deal with the documents related to the inspections), an administrative investigation team (to track irregularities appearing during the inspections and also proposes sanctions if deemed necessary), and a technical support team (to help with the identification of material or the regulations to store warlike material).
"It is a real multinational unit. It is not only national units working together - here every unit has personnel from different countries working together to accomplish a concrete, specialised, specific mission," added Estebaranz.