tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle March 17, 2019 1:30am-2:01am CET
captivating. in central africa. their culture the state. only a promise to his son charlie would return to the concrete and glass jungle of new york. the result reversed culture. from the forest starts to first on w. . german peacekeeping troops on patrol in mali. that's often fits the biggest challenge i've ever faced because. the troops are still finding their way around. listen to outsiders so we're trying to get a grip on the situation. the minister bias to some this mission raises serious
ethical question. what are we doing here is this what should we be hearings. the. first lieutenant mathias lena is a platoon leader in a mountain infantry company base need bad reichenhall in bavaria in a few weeks he'll head out on his first foreign mission to mali. but i don't want to go there if anything needs fixing tell me otherwise i'll assume it's ok it's awesome the food. is and i know it's good but gotten used to the idea of foreign deployment and you learn that early on if you're in the military you're probably going to be sent overseas. but you never know when or where or when the on. and
off part august you get your orders and you go where they tell you and. the tradition of course there are ways to get out of those kinds of missions but generally speaking that it's not open to discussions and even. on this understand it oughta. mathias is twenty seven years old he and his wife clara live in munich they got married recently and she's now pregnant mathias and clara grew up in berlin and have known each other since this school days after he graduated from high school mathias signed up for a twelve year hitch in the bundeswehr later he attended officer training school. i mean if we're going to my family was surprised they had no ties at all to the military but in and in my high school it was really unusual for anyone to consider
military service even also hoped in. the time i thought the bundeswehr would offer me a little adventure and a chance to work outdoors liked you've all seen some off and that's why i joined the so this was a good sort now he's going on a dangerous mission sensitives new scoot i'm actually pretty nervous about it sunday i'm not worried about his personal safety but these soldiers have to face all kinds of challenges and that can cause a lot of stress including psychological stress certainly see our loss and since i kind of i'm concerned about all that stuff i think that if you join the bundeswehr you have certain responsibilities and i believe that jamie is right to take on these kinds of missions i just wish that they wouldn't send my husband to dangerous places but that's how it is his. dismissal. at the bundeswehr combat training center new mag to book your ten atlanta and his platoon
a preparing for their mission which will probably involve counterinsurgency measure has. wanted to. give good do it today we're going to simulate a patrol in an operational area. by the goal called although this is all our job will be to secure the perimeter of the battle and prevent direct or indirect attacks on our camp. where we're doing our own voice if we're attacked it's important to take cover and establish fire superiority for you but that's the background any questions on that. again you're also going to see our platoon is made up of. a pretty diverse group of guys and we have to learn to work together in. minutes on kind of these when we're finished with this training program i want to be sure that my men will be ready for
this mission. and when you come. along this situation will be new for me and that creates a certain amount of tension. it's also new for most of these men. when it's their first real mission in a conflict zone specifically molly. if you only feel small you. know. this all just have no idea what's going to happen during this exercise. this ahmed vehicle is about to hit an i.e.d. over the b. track. to your i.e.d. on to gether three this is fall should we close the road or keep going. higher but i know this is very close the road where you are. going delta told one
knock. this is true i've got two wounded here one with birds you still drawn on my . office's monitor and evaluate the exercise now the wounded are being brought to safety and then you are the consequence and you're in these exercises you just rely on your training but you don't get emotional about it because it's just practice i haven't experienced the real thing yet but often we don't need as was just different missions. linda has called in a helicopter to transport the wounded to put tune secu is the area and blocks off the road and standard operating procedure but the instructors say that the men stayed too long of the new vehicle. i don't just focus on first i like the entire unit is pinned down near the vehicles and it might be attacked again so leave the kill zone as quickly as possible.
because to all still carry out the wounded provide covering fire and get as far away from the vehicle as you can this is it is because it. is now packing for his mission in mali twelve thousand u.n. peacekeeping troops are already there the german soldiers will receive extra hot shit pay so what is there to advise on the it looks like we'll have just two minutes a day to take a shower. i can do that before i go to bed well that was involved. it's always been the best i think i weigh about one hundred twenty kilos with the body armor and all the other combat here you could do without it i weighed ninety three kilos or something like that of being right. in this one thing i'm twenty seven years old i've trained forty one men to the point where
i feel comfortable serving with them on a mission for four months and we're headed for a conflict zone that's the corps people can be killed. that's something you could never imagine happening in germany. and how do i deal with all of this expensive equipment and you know me when it's all on my shoulders. lieutenant laina the miracle worker you know the line. oh. this is the bundeswehr air transport facility at cologne bourne airport after almost a year of planning training and practice lieutenant lin and his unit a starting their first overseas mission. to the north of me to quote i've known for some time what i'm getting into and now we're under way we've
trained for this and i'd say that i'm pretty relaxed right now that mitchell search for one soldier is. elaine and his men will be in mali for at least four months. this is the city of galle in northern mali about ninety thousand people live here a rich mix of ethnic groups tribes and religions in two thousand and twelve two are a gravel is an islamist fighters occupied the city the rebels lightly declared the region's independence from the rest of the country. in twenty thirteen the united nations sent peacekeeping troops to the region today more than fifteen thousand
soldiers from nearly fifty countries are serving there about a thousand german troops are stationed at camp castor near the airfield on the outskirts of gal. you can get used to just about anything but it's still stressful. and there are more pleasant things to do than working outside all day in forty degree heat and then spending the evening in a tent with nine or ten other guys. and people are always coming and going and we do guard duty in shifts some of the guys have to get up at four in the morning to do that. so you have to be considerate of the people in your tent. and that's just normal and there's no place here where you can just be by yourself . and. as soon as his unit arrives at the camp they stop preparing for this mission. the moment if you
want to meet with the squad leaders today. the. first thing to morrow morning. i'm always right we'll take care of the stuff on your to do list so i won't have to deal with it tomorrow or. we'll let the guys rest and get ready. and what are they going to. give us. the new troops to set to head out on the first patrol tomorrow when they're off duty the soldiers a not allowed to leave the camp because of the threat of insurgent attacks. this mission requires a sense of duty. there's no room for emotion here if you don't feel like carrying out a particular order and you can't just refuse if you have to do it and do it well because that's part of the job. can be frustrating sometimes but you just have to deal with it until. the officer who len is replacing gives him
a status update including local insurgent activity land and his unit will serve as a quick reaction force known as the short. and quick as they could that you are after is like a fire brigade if a dangerous situation develops somewhere it's all. our job to respond to it once again was maybe too good anything can happen and we have to be prepared to move out quickly and deal with it. and that's what i've done this. if someone needs help they call us. it's time for reconnaissance patrol. on the van not with imo we're going to drive around the city so that we can get a general idea of the layout. don't you would call both.
sets these little muzzling you can see that it's not unusual to see someone walking around with a gun but you never know which side they're on. there are a lot of dangers that you just can't see the threat of attack is always there. on the other hand some of the local residents wave at us especially the kids going off and and that's a positive development that was due to. the patrol of arrives at an observation post and gets a briefing on the situation there. off of the what about that checkpoint. so this area is controlled by five of the mali and government troops and i was there some hesco barriers there a meme go a machine gun and then the guys spend most of the day just lying around in
a shi'ite. montes military doesn't have the troops all the equipment to provide proper security in this part of the country that's why the u.n. peacekeepers are here. meanwhile in munich clara has been taking her lower exams and she's well along in her pregnancy. the type five year plans are time goes by slowly but i've got a lot going on right now i'm taking my exams when i'm pregnant with our first child and of course i really miss my husband but he and i are a team and we both have different things to take care of. guys with i know i was up there still i miss having him here to take over some of the work. or to just give me a hug. as part. mathias sends a text message he wants to know how she is and she writes
a little about his mission is that he also doesn't provide a lot of detail because he doesn't want me to worry but i'm especially concerned that you might develop psychological problems that could happen if they were actually involved in combat but there's going to be a lot of stress until he comes back. and then over the first few weeks months i'll see whether he's changed and if so. he also if he's on the call. would prefer to be with my wife is that home alone and pregnant. or she's in a tough position and that just breaks my heart and i don't like to think about the fact that i had to leave her by herself at this difficult time. in his unit has been here for three months now. what was going on the very. nothing another day of doing nothing i suppose i could work out but tonight i just want to relax
a little. bit but suddenly it's time to go to work i don't have to push to the spot you will be. down the. delta is lieutenant lin his call sign in radio traffic. they're going to tell to all units move out to you why do they do and of. course has come in that there's a cache of explosives hidden on a road north of gal this represents a danger to soldiers and civilians elaina's platoon is ordered to find secure and defuse the explosives they'll be accompanied by a munitions disposal team from cambodia. dead on a large altitude all units situation report we're going to get new coordinates from the cambodians. i'll get them to you shortly right now we're just
a little north of those new coordinates. is the only going over we still don't know exactly what we're dealing with so we've set up a large security perimeter because of the nature of the terrain. the cambodians are sweeping the area right now. they have a wide area to cover them as not proper they cover. the cambodian troops use metal detectors to look for mines unexploded ordinance and they'll be traps any mistakes can be deadly. but there were a lot of men in the past the status report along to the joint operations command line and the phone intercepts lists we turned up nothing so the cambodians are going to call off the search all the way. sometimes a mission just doesn't work out so we can do each other. from time to time i ask myself what do we actually doing here should we be here at all. what makes us
different from guys who are just looking for a little excitement. and view but. better than guys who drive around in the desert where they could be killed by an i.e.d. or stung by a scorpion. the names for you and. clara keeps hearing media reports. about attacks in mali that cause casualties bob she tries to lead a normal life and in front of her friends she puts on a brace face yet was. as. if the u.n. troops who were involved in the fighting my husband couldn't tell me about it anyway and i worried that one day the door bell will ring and someone in uniform will be standing there that kind of fear just paralyzes you the others didn't and i took. the. in this training exercise an
armored vehicle has hit a baby trap. the driver is seriously wounded in his unit provides first aid get the morphine and much like that i put response can mean the difference between life and death all the statistics also in the statistics show that the mortality rate is highest during the first hour. that's why it's so important to treat the wounded as quickly as possible on all of them didn't work that i'm cold. even jaring a training exercise like this the troops try to make that sixty minute stand it rescue helicopters take off from camp castor with doctors and paramedics on board. yes. it's now nine thirty seven. if they still need twenty minutes they're behind
schedule but there must've been some communication problems that's definitely too long. the rescue helicopter arrives just in time the wounded soldier is put on board in the end things turned out ok. young wasn't going to thank god we haven't had to deal with the real thing yet when it's like you don't think about the fact that it could happen at any time you know that what you're going to. get your car you know nobody wants to take a human life without good reason but we're here to carry out our mission and to do that we have to be properly prepared. and. i'm fully aware of the fact that under extreme circumstances i may have to kill someone or order my men to kill us. but we will only do so when it's absolutely necessary. and this. is.
the u.n. peacekeepers a trying to stabilize the political situation in mali and to protect its people. all this village has a small community center a school and a mosque today we're going to meet the village elder. it's about five hundred meters from here. but even a short march without an armored vehicle for protection is dangerous in this part of the country. the village called the tallent is located about an hour. always drive north of gal. with. bubba. this visit is part of lieutenant lin his effort to learn more about the local residents there's no use doing.
during these meetings you tenant always tries to be friendly. the village elder is pleased that the german troops are here. we smile we have a lot of problems in mali and the un peacekeepers are helping us to solve them they should stay here if they grieve things could get difficult again. these personal contacts with local residents showed the german soldiers that their mission is important. it's not just sitting around in the desert for days on end. almost five months have passed now since laina and his men arrived in mali. they spent weeks during reconnaissance patrols and support work but they never fired
a shot. and now it's time to return to germany. back home critics have complained that the bundesbank mission in mali has not achieved much they say that germany has no business sending troops here. but these soldiers are here to carry out their orders even if they didn't agree with some of them. some of our orders were nonsense in fact a lot of them were we all wondered what we were doing here i certainly did with the sense of thought still every single one of you did your damn job and you did it well. on the gulf. news. and now after one hundred forty one days in mali lieutenant linna is on his way back to germany. because if you start if i go back and definitely say that this mission changed me is that i can't say how just yet. i think i'll find out only
after i get home and start interacting with people again that's going to start especially as all that. and it's two months later mathias clara and their infant daughter have moved from munich to bad russian hol a mountain infantry brigade is stationed near the town. to the to fly i was lucky because i didn't become depressed after our mission with me for i love being with my daughter but a new baby is a real challenge. i don't have time to think about anything else. and. good job well done. this law is this i think he's
a lot more coming relaxed than he used to be. especially in stressful situations. what he wants now and how to get it. i think that he's learned what's important to him in life this is us we're and who comes to mr. the same thing to know this kid that there will be more missions probably in mali again for sure but i have new responsibilities now because i have a family i can't think about the military all the time. to mine it was but someone has to sign up for those missions. i think it's important to make a contribution to society it doesn't matter whether it's working in a nursing home for the elderly or picking up the garbage every day. for meals and my contribution to society is military service. and i'm convinced that it's an
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