To run an attack at brigade level in order to defeat enemy forces sounds rather easy but to launch an Joint Offensive Operation against opposing forces embedded within the civilian population seems to be more difficult and challenging due to the presence of civilian people between the lines.
While the units of the tradition rich and famous Multi National Sassari Brigade (reinforced by multinational light mechanized troops) prepared an Joint Offensive Operation in order to defeat KAMON Forces – who invaded the SW of DAHLAK ISLAND (belonging to authority of TYTAN) – the Multi National CIMIC SUPPORT UNIT began to shape the operational environment. This shaping mainly focused on the civilian part of the mission.
One of the Brigade Commanders (Brigade General Arturo Nitti) biggest concerns was a unguided and massive movement of Internal Displaced People (IDP) within the Area of Operation (AOO), caused by suppression of the opposing forces. These mass movements could have an enormous impact on the mission by loosing owns’ freedom of movement.
Therefore the MN CSU (existing of three Nations- GER, HUN, AUT) started immediately to liaise with the Host Nations’ authorities, International, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations to achieve consensus on “how to cope with” the IDP’s. During several meetings, UN OCHA (notional) finally agreed on the IDP Movement Coordination Plan and called in all actors of the Humanitarian assistance agencies to distribute the efforts to everyone’s specific domain. Meanwhile, the G9 of the Sassari Brigade LTC Orricchioni contributed to the planning process for the phase after the JOO – he was supported by an DEU, HUN and AUT officer of the MN CSU. After the operation it was assessed as utmost important to bring in the Humanitarian Assistance (HA) and to ensure basic needs such as food, water and medical treatment for the civilian population. The establishment of a safe and secure environment can facilitate the HA.
During the operation MN CSU received information from World Food Program (role play) about eight missing field workers and asked for support to find them. A tactical CIMIC Team was nearby and tried to get in contact with the members of WFP. Secured by a GER AF Force Protection Platoon and ITA Carabinieri, the eight WFP members could be evacuated and flown out with a SLO “Cougar” helicopter.
After nearly three weeks in “mission” the MN CSU merged to one unit out of three nations and could prove the successful integration process of the unit. It was easily possible for the soldiers from NIENBURG/DEU, BUDAPEST/ HUN and GRAZ/ AUT to work together and to act in concert. We all speak different languages, but we all understand “civilian”!
The article is written by DEU A / Zentrum Zivil-Militaerische Zusammenarbeit / LTC Falz.