DISENGAGEMENT OBSERVER FORCE
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UNDOF HQ INFORMATION
- On 03 June 1974, the Interim Commander of UNDOF, General Briceno from Peru, arrived in Damascus from Cairo and established his provisional headquarters in the UNTSO ISMAC House, assuming operational command of all UNTSO Observers detailed to UNDOF. Later that same day advanced parties from both Austrian and Peruvian contingents arrived in the Mission Area. During the first phase (01-05 June 1974) Canadians and Polish personnel transferred from UNEF II to the UNDOF Mission Area. In the meantime UNDOF became operational, employing the UNTSO Military Observers already on previously established observation posts.
- The second phase (06-25 June 1974) included the physical disengagement of Syrian and Israeli forces. The Austrians shared a base camp with the Polish transport and engineering element at Kanikir near the town of Sassa. The Peruvians were deployed south of Quneitra near Ziouani. The Canadian logistic company and signal element were situated in Quneitra. The force headquarters remained in Damascus. In phases three thru five, contingents changed, repositioned and left. So in 1993 when the Finnish Government decided to pull its troops from UNDOF - UNDOF re-organized to its present organization.
- In addition to the re-organization UNDOF HQ moved from Damascus to the Austrian base camp (Camp Faouar) half-way between the Sassa checkpoint and Quneitra, some 60 kilometers from Damascus. The present organization includes: an Austrian Infantry Battalion (AUSBATT), a Polish Infantry Battalion (POLBATT), a Logistics Battalion (LOGBATT) comprised of Canadian and Japanese personnel. AUSBATT and UNDOF HQ are quartered in Camp Faouar-Bravo Side in Syria, while LOGBATT and POLBATT are quartered in Camp Ziouani-Alpha Side in Israel.
- Presently there are 89 established military position UNDOF HQ, with all the Contingents represented. In addition there are one hundred and twenty civilians -Internationals and Locally Engaged Staff.
- Certain key positions have been identified within the UNDOF HQ establishment that will be manned by planned rotation among specific nations. Through design and force cutting the number of those positions has been reduced to eight. The other eighty positions are designated to specific nations for a set period of six or twelve months.
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- At present there are 19 Canadians living and working in Camp Faouar, both as part of UNDOF HQ and as part of LOGBATT elements permanently detached. For ease of explanation they are listed below with a short job description. In addition to their UNDOF duties and responsibilities, most of the Canadians have secondary duties.
- Chief Logistics Officer (CLO) - Senior Canadian Officer on the Bravo Side is responsible for logistics policy and support to UNDOF, advising, assisting and directing contingents on matters of supply, maintenance, transportation, food services, construction engineering, and the budget aspects in each of these functional areas.
- Chief Clerk/Logistics and Personnel Orderly Room (CC LPOR) - supervises a multinational orderly room, monitors, coordinates, and verifies administration documentation, reports and returns from UNDOF HQ and units and liaises with LOGBATT OR on Canadian National matters.
- Staff Officer Supply (SO Sup) - is responsible for supply liaison between units and UNDOF HQ, the control of reports and returns on behalf of the SSO Log, a Japanese Major who reports to the CLO, as well as unit supply Q1 demand procedures, coordination of write-off action, control of demand, updating of Log Directives, inspection of unit supply organizations, liaison with the Chief Procurement Officer and his staff, and preparation of the annual Budget.
- Sgt Supply - assists the SO Sup and SSO Log in supply related matters, monitors the Q1s from units; inputs computer data on demanded items and liaisons with units on supply matters and is a member of any inspection team.
- Staff Officer Maintenance (SO Maint) - is responsible to SSO Log for controlling vehicle and equipment maintenance and other related technical matters within UNDOF, providing assistance, information, technical data, supply info, and general policy concerning maintenance operations within UNDOF.
- WO Maint - monitors, controls, maintains up-to-date records on vehicles and equipment, liaises with units on maintenance problems, looks into local repair sources, monitors second line inspections and repair programs, and gathers and prepares data on UNDOF vehicles and equipment.
- Chief Engineering Officer (CEO) - is responsible to the Force Construction Engineering Officer, an Austrian Major, for coordination and implementation of construction projects, preparing and maintaining construction plans, monitoring development, supervising project implementation, and supervising the day-to-day activities of Force Construction Engineering section.
- WO Foods - works for SO Foods, a Polish Captain, in maintaining UNDOF food service standards, controlling the most economical use of food services by assessing, recommending, and reviewing ration scales and all demands for dry and frozen rations and maintains a close liaison with LOGBATT Ration Depot.
- UNDOF MP Detachment - is responsible to the Force Provost Marshall for the security and safety of the military and civilian personnel located on Camp Faouar. Investigates serious incidents, traffic accidents and violations. Coordinates all MP activities on the Bravo side. Liaises with UNDOF units and local police officials. Alternates between being Deputy Force Provost Marshall and Force Provost Marshall (6 months each).
- NCO I/C International Dining Hall (IDH) - is responsible to WO Foods, for the day-to-day activities of the IDH, which includes menu planning, meal preparations, and ration requisitioning. He must also supervise a multinational staff.
- LOGBATT Signals Detachment - is comprised of three signalers, who are responsible for the communications network within UNDOF Operations Center for all of UNDOF.
- Force Commander and (when authorized) COS Driver - is responsible to ensure that the FC/COS arrives on time and at the right place.
CAMP FAOUAR INFORMATION
LIFE IN FAOUAR
- As mentioned, the CLO is the designated Senior Canadian on this side of the AOS, as such he/she serves as the CO for the Canadians. WO Foods is the Faouarian senior Warrant Officer. Those of us that work in the HQ receive taskings and information through the applicable Branch Heads. To ensure that everyone receives the same information and are aware of purely Canadian matters, we hold an 'O Group' every Monday evening. This gathering is held at 1700 hrs in Club 17, the Canadian social center/mess. This Meeting is conducted as a relaxed forum and civilian clothing may be worn; however, if you are not on duty or on leave, you are expected to attend. Anyone is welcome to raise any points during the course of the meeting.
- You will find that there can be many things to do at Camp Faouar. International competitions are conducted on a regular basis that test general military skills and fitness. There are tennis courts, a soccer field, a basketball court, acceptable running routes on and off camp, a fitness room at AUSBATT, and a sauna in the POLBATT social area. These are all available for our use. On occasion we arrange a sporting or social event with other members of LOGBATT and spend the night on the Alpha Side. (One must stay the night as the three gates across the Area of Separation close at 1700hrs and do not open until 0700hrs the next morning.)
- There are many types of messes and clubs on Camp Faouar: AUSBATT has three messes that mirror Canadian messes and they are open to us. There are several all ranks clubs - the International Bar and Lounge (IBL) and Club-17. Club-17 is usually open on Friday evenings for a Canadian Happy Hour. There are other activities such as darts, cards and self-help renovations. In addition there is also the local radio station 'Radio Gecko', on which Canada has a DJ twice a week. So is you have the music bug or just like to chat up a storm ensure you bring along some of your favorite CDs.
- Life at Camp Faouar is much different from its sister Camp Ziouani. Camp Faouar will challenge you and does require a certain type of person, you must be independent but at the same time a team player able to look out for your peers.
- We are always asked if there are any special items or things that we should bring from home, the answer is a definite yes. Living in Camp Faouar is not like living back home, there is not a 7-11 outside the gate and the nearest town closes at 1700hrs - not that you'll be able to get a lot of things there. If there are things, creature comforts that you are used to back home, you are well advised to bring sufficient quantities for the duration of your tour. Things like national brand items or the simplest items like contact lens solution.
- Another question that is often asked is what type of civilian clothing to bring. If you serve here during the warm months (Apr-Oct) bring shorts and T-shirts. But be prepared for cool evenings and bring a warm sweater. During the rainy season (somewhere between Nov/Dec and Feb/Mar) jeans and a spring/fall jacket are advisable.
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This page is copyright © 2001 Frank Misztal - Kingston, ON, Canada