tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle March 18, 2019 5:02am-5:31am CET
german peacekeeping troops on patrol in mali. there's all the info if the biggest challenge i've ever faced. the troops still finding their way around. isn't outsiders so we're trying to get a grip on the situation and the minister of ideas to some this mission raises serious ethical questions. what are we doing here is this what should we be here was in the. first lieutenant mathias laina is a platoon leader in mountain infantry company basically bad reichenhall in bavaria in a few weeks he'll head out on his first foreign mission to mali. what i was going up no if anything needs fixing tell me otherwise i'll assume it's ok of walls of.
this and i know it's good to have 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 going to hold us on the ground. and off guard dogs and 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 it's not open to discussions and. thus far as i understand about it. 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 the 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 i'm you going to that my family was surprised they had no ties at all to the military but even in my high school it was really unusual for anyone to consider military service you can also hope to use and at the time i thought the bundeswehr would offer me a little adventure and a chance to work outdoors like you've all seen some awful that's why i joined the so this was a good sort now he's going on a dangerous mission sensitiveness route i'm actually pretty nervous about it something 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 subtly say our last influence i kind of i'm concerned about all that stuff i think that if you join the point where 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 bug you 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. i love the goal for the good although there's always our job will be to secure the perimeter of the battle and prevent direct or indirect attacks on our camp. well. oh boy if we're attacked it's important to take cover and establish fire superiority for you but that's the background any questions. it's.
just 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 really 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 the 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. the soldiers have no idea what's going to happen june this exercise. this ahmed vehicle is about to hit an i.e.d. o.b.b.
track. i know you do young to your i.e.d. on to gather three this is full should we close the road or keep going. on this is very close the road where you are. lying delta to one dog. this is true i've got two wounded here one with birds you still draw on my. office's monitor and evaluate the exercise now the wounded are being brought to safety. for the consequence of you 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 you don't need as was just different. linda has called in a helicopter to transport the wounded to platoon secu is the area and blocks off
the road and standard operating procedure but the instructors say that the men stayed too long in the painting being called. 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 it's let's be honest it's just all still carried out the way it is provide covering fire and get as far away from the vehicle as you can so that's it is it is 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 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 to being right. in this fancy 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 you know we're headed for a conflict zone that's a queer 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. it's all on my shoulders. lieutenant laina the miracle worker you know the line. a. this is the bond as the air transport facility at cologne bourne airport
after almost a year of planning training in practice lieutenant lin and his unit a starting their first overseas mission. he said on the eve of me to call i've known for some time what i'm getting into and now we're underway we've trained for this and i would say that i'm pretty relaxed right now that missiles launched from one. lane 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
agreeable is an islamist fighters occupied the city the rebels like to declare 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 cast 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 the. 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.
so you think this is 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. then the. first thing to morrow morning. i'm 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 sit to head out on the first patrol tomorrow when they're off the soldiers are not allowed to leave the camp because of the threat of insurgent attacks. just you knew. 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 that's all it can be frustrating sometimes but you just have to deal with it all fulfillment a wonderful. the officer who len is replacing gives him a status update including local insurgent activity man and his unit will serve as a quick reaction force known as q i read what. they've been equipped with the critical u r f is like a fire brigade we don't know if a dangerous situation develops somewhere it's our job to respond to it want to. be 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 and they call us you know. it's time for reconnaissance patrol. on their
dental plans i'm are going to drive around the city so that we can get a general idea of the layout going. don't you know we're going to come both. sets these little muzzling you can see that's not unusual to see someone walking around with a gun but you never know which side they're on. or 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 went and that's a positive development it was. to. the patrol arrives at an observation post and gets
a briefing on the situation there. was not what about that checkpoint of ahmed it's in this area is controlled by five by the mali and government troops aging eyes there's a mess go barriers there i never got a machine gun and the guys spend most of the day just lying around in the shade. mali's military doesn't have the troops all the equipment to provide proper security in this part of the country that's why the un peacekeepers are here. meanwhile in munich clara has been taking her lower exams and she's well along in her pregnancy. the type of your plans are time goes by slowly but i've got a lot going on right now i'm taking my exams and 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. and the guys over there i know i was up until i missed having him had to take over some of the work. or to just give me a hug. or to live as part. mathias sends a text message he wants to know how she is and he writes a little about his mission is that he's also missing doesn't provide a lot of detail because he doesn't want me to worry but i'm especially concerned that he might develop psychological problems 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 if the first few weeks months and see whether he's changed and if so. he also if he's on the call. to me as my wife is that home alone and pregnant. well 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. plain as unit has been need 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. but suddenly it's time to go to work you don't have to push to the spot and you will be. dealt is lieutenant lin his call sign in radio traffic. they're going to tell to all units move out do what i did they did the. 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 lane his platoon is ordered to find secure and
defused the explosives they'll be accompanied by a munitions disposal team from cambodia. their dollar log alto to all units situation reports 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 but that they cover. the cambodian troops use metal detectors to look for mines unexploded ordinance and they'll be tracks any mistakes can be deadly. but there was a lot of past the status report along to the joint operations command line and the
phone towers and the sweep turned up nothing so the cambodians are going to call off the search the way. sometimes a mission just doesn't work out so we can do it. from time to time i ask myself what are 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 a bit. 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 she tries to lead a normal life and in front of her friends she puts on a brace face. war. if the u.n. troops are involved in the fighting my husband couldn't tell me about it anyway and
i worry that one day the door bell will ring and someone in uniform will be standing there that kind of fear just paralyzes you and this demented talk. of 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 much better that i could response can mean the difference between life and death. all this contract is taking all since 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 and also i didn't want that i'm cold. even jaring a training exercise like this the troops try to make that sixty minutes stand to
risk you helicopters take off from camp caster with doctors and paramedics on board . yet if you would 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 was 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. me off 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. like there's all this village has a small community center a school and the 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. drive north of gal . with.
bubba the love. this visit is part of lieutenant lin is excellent 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. we sum up 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 to get. 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 touring 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 say he had 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 you know i certainly did because of all 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 out i hope i can definitely say that this mission changed me is that i can't say how just yet it got so i think i'll find out only after i get home and start interacting with people again that's going to start a space in their souls that. 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. of i was lucky because i didn't become depressed after our mission for the record i love
being with my daughter but a new baby is a real challenge. for the two of us i don't have time to think about anything else . and the time. to talk good job well done. this as the site thinking is a lot more common relax the nice to me. especially in stressful situations. what he wants now and how to get it it's i think that he's learned what's important to him in life this is where and who comes to mr. sinclair to night is to know 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 that it doesn't matter whether it's working in a nursing home for the elderly or picking up the garbage every day and. for me also my contribution to society is military service because it offline and i'm convinced that it's an important one causes in the published issue and. that's what. the parliamentary mandate for the bundesbank mission to mali is due to expire in may twenty ninth the boom is talking to side with the join us.
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