Hydrogeological assessments of United Nations bases in Bosnia Hercegovina
Published:January 01, 1998
The need to ensure reliable and secure water supply at United Nations bases in Bosnia Hercegovina led to a hydrogeological and water supply reconnaissance (recce) of each base to determine the feasibility of constructing boreholes within the base perimeter. The recce was conducted under full security measures at a time when the armed conflict in central Bosnia was at its fiercest. Fieldwork was severely limited by the ongoing war. Facilities such as generators, vehicle repair yards, and latrines excluded certain areas within the perimeter wire and restricted where boreholes could be sited.
Despite the disruption to the infrastructure and government caused by several years of conflict, some site-specific information was obtained. All sites were assessed as having a good potential for ground water. Preliminary well designs were determined. These were accepted and well drillers were deployed to Vitez, Gornji Vakuf, and Tomislavgrad. Following the deployment of the drillers to Bosnia, the author was able to use his experience of the ground to advise during the well construction phase.
The author also provided advice on slope stability along parts of the main supply route (MSR) near Prozor and on the location of suitable borrow pits for material to maintain the surface of the MSR near Redoubt Camp.
The participation of the Royal Engineer Specialist Advice Team geologist in Operation Grapple continued the tradition of geological input into recent major British army operations such as those in the Falklands, the Gulf, and northern Iraq.
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Military Geology in War and Peace
In warfare, military geologists pursue five main categories of work: tactical and strategic terrain analysis, fortifications and tunneling, resource acquisition, defense installations, and field construction and logistics. In peace, they train for wartime operations and may be involved in peace-keeping and nation-building exercises. The classic dilemma for military geology has been whether support can best be provided by civilian technical-matter experts or by uniformed soldiers who routinely work with the combat units. In addition to the introductory paper this volume includes 24 papers, covering selected aspects of the history of military geology from the early 19th century through the recent Persian Gulf war, military education and operations, terrain analysis, engineering geology in the military, use of military geology in diplomacy and peace keeping, and the future of military geology.