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Fire, Water and Plexiglas Shield

Szöveg: László Szűcs |  2012. november 28. 8:56

With Molotov-cocktails going off around them, the soldiers serving with the Hungarian maneuver company of the KFOR Tactical Reserve Maneuver Battalion (KTM) deployed water cannons and even an earthmover in Pristina, Kosovo on Tuesday, November 20.

Fortunately, this time the peacekeepers were not performing live Crowd Riot Control (CRC) actions – one of the most important missions of the battalion –, but rather only rehearsing them on a training session. During the CRC training, they were practicing the drills to be used in situations that they may encounter any time during their tour of duty abroad.


Dressed in full “body armor" and armed with Plexiglas riot shields and batons, the peacekeepers gave a really spectacular display. The journalists staying at the seventh rotation of the HDF KFOR Contingent in Kosovo this week were also watching the display. The visit to Pristina was organized for the representatives of print and electronic media by the Press Office of the Ministry of Defence.

This time the role of the “angry" crowd of protesters was played by the Portuguese troops serving with the KTM battalion alongside the Hungarians. Among other things, they were “attacking" the peacekeepers deployed to the spot with clubs, PET water bottles and worn car tires, and even some Molotov cocktails went off among the soldiers.


The use of petrol bombs is part of the so-called Fire Phobia training, whose objective is to allow the peacekeepers rehearse the actions to be taken if the “cocktail" bursts into flames among them on a real-world deployment. “This is important because at that point we often have no time to think: we have to perform the drills so we can avoid injuries", Capt. Dániel Mészáros told us.

The commander of the maneuver company of the HDF KFOR Contingent added that there was a need for the CRC capability because the core mission of the KTM battalion is to ensure freedom of movement on the roads in the whole are of Kosovo. Removing the barricades from the roads is not always an easy task, since the peacekeepers working to ensure trafficability must also reckon with resistance. And when they meet resistance, they may need the CRC capability too…


Photo: Tünde Rácz