Canada. Board of Inquiry Into Command, Control and Leadership of CANBAT 2

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Canada. Board of Inquiry Into Command, Control and Leadership of CANBAT 2

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The Commander of Land Force Command, Lt-Gen Maurice Baril, announced in July, 1996 a Board of Inquiry to shed light on the issues, make recommendations for appropriate action and investigate possible failures in leadership and command and control in a Battle Group known as CANBAT 2 in Bosnia.

CANBAT 2, based on 12e Régiment Blindé du Canada (12 RBC), including subunits of the Royal 22e Régiment, artillery, engineer and various support elements, served in the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), Bosnia Herzegovina from October 1993 to May 1994. At the end of the tour, allegations arose about misbehaviour on the part of members of the unit at Bakovici Hospital, namely, misuse of alcohol, abuse of patients, sexual misconduct and black market activities. During subsequent investigations other concerns were raised about the state of discipline and overall effectiveness of the unit which resulted in the Board of Inquiry. Summary investigations on the disappearance of a .50 calibre machine gun and alleged inaction of Canadian soldiers surrounding the death of a Serb soldier were rolled into the Board of Inquiry which submitted its report on 15 Nov 96.

The overall conclusion of the Board of Inquiry was that the CANBAT 2 Battle Group had the makings of a good unit but endured more than its share of problems primarily due to the inexperience or ineffectiveness of certain key personnel. The major allegations of misconduct were investigated. There was unprofessional conduct on the part of certain individuals fraternizing with nurses and interpreters, including alcohol consumption and consensual sex; the shaving of a female patient by a soldier did occur and the soldier was not dealt with by appropriate disciplinary action at the time; there was misuse of alcohol by a number of members of CANBAT 2; a number of individuals were abusive towards certain patients and one in particular. Most of the alcohol abuse and unacceptable behaviour occurred in elements of the Royal 22e Régiment which were under command of the Battle Group.


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