In the context of the preparation of a new mission in Kosovo, the portuguese Army conducted the exercise Pristina 072. While it was taking place, I have made a report for the spanish magazine Fuerzas Militares del Mundo - as part of a series of reports that I have been making in order to gather photos and informations for an article about the Portuguese Army.
Irá decorrer no período de 18 a 27 de Julho de 2007 na Região de Vouzela, o Exercício “PRISTINA – 072”, que corresponde ao final do aprontamento do 2º Batalhão de Infantaria da Brigada de Intervenção (BrigInt), que a partir de Setembro de 2007 irá cumprir missão no Teatro de Operações (TO) do Kosovo.
Com a realização deste exercício pretende-se validar os níveis de treino de aperfeiçoamento operacional alcançados pelo Batalhão e a capacidade operacional da Força. De uma forma geral, o exercício permitirá praticar o planeamento, o controlo e a conduta de operações tácticas, associadas às Peace Support Operations (PSO), no quadro das missões e tarefas passíveis de serem desempenhadas pelo Batalhão no TO, tendo como referencial o ambiente operacional que se vive no Kosovo e as possíveis evoluções.
In the last ten years, the Brigada de Intervenção (the medium brigade of the military branch) mobilized more than 4.000 men and 11 units in several peacekeeping missions, such as in Bósnia, Kosovo and East Timor. Currently, it is preparing an unit of military engineers for the portuguese mission in Liban.
Since March its 2nd. Infantary Battalion (from Viseu) has been training for the mission in Kosovo, where will replace the forces of the Brigada Mecanizada.
As part of this preparation, the Army organized an exercise in the region of Vouzela between 18 and 26 July. As indicated in the briefing, the Pristina 072 mobilized 400 men (298 from the unit intended to Kosovo), 70 tactical vehicles and 9 armoured vehicles. It was also one of the last exercises that involve the veteran Chaimite fleet before the reception - in September - of the first Pandur II armoured vehicles.
A Panhard VBL M-11 light armoured vehicle.
A Chaimite V-200 armoured personnel carrier (APC) has given protection and fire support to the portuguese troops during the exercise. In Kosovo, the portuguese militaries will find nine of these vehicles - the last ones to be dettached in a foreign country.