Magazine article Army

FOB Connor-On the Dark Side of Bosnia

Magazine article Army

FOB Connor-On the Dark Side of Bosnia

Article excerpt

THE U.S. ARMY IN THE BALKANS

FORWARD OPERATING BASE (FOB) CONNOR, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, WITH SOLDIERS OF THE 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION (LIGHT)-"This is the most forward-deployed company in the United States Army," boasted Capt. Mark Huntanar, commander of Company C, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry (C/1-14 Infantry). "Sure there are perhaps more forward-deployed brigade combat teams, such as in Afghanistan, or even battalions, but for a company-- size element this is the most forward-deployed."

C/1-14 Infantry is based at FOB Connor in the Republic of Serbska, the Serbian slice of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The outpost was constructed in 2001 as U.S. forces assigned to the Stabilization Force's Multinational Division-North (SFOR MND-N) moved into the area because it was lagging four years behind the rest of Bosnia in the return of refugees and internally displaced persons.

FOB Connor is one of only two U.S. satellite base camps remaining in Bosnia. The other is Camp McGovern outside Brcko. All the dozens of other camps are gone, stripped of every usable item and flattened-even Camp Comanche was folded into the main American facility, Eagle Base, at Tuzla, and it was arguably a suburb of Eagle Base.

FOB Connor was constructed in the last frontier of Multinational Division-- North to keep watch over some of the bloodiest territory from the Bosnian-- Serbian war. Some of the most notorious massacres occurred in FOB Connor's sector. The city of Srebrenica is there-made infamous for the handing over by the Dutch Army under the U.N. flag of refugees seeking protection and their ensuing massacre. More than 7,000 Bosnian Muslims "disappeared."

The main road leading to FOB Connor was part of the "Ring of Iron" that closed a noose around Srebrenica in 1995, when the city fell to the Serbs. Armored vehicles were parked about every 50 to 100 meters along the road to prevent the Bosnians from escaping. …

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