On Tuesday 21 February 2017 a ceremony was held to mark the Change of Command of the EUFOR Multinational Battalion (MNBN) in the Helicopter Hanger at EUFOR HQ, Camp Butmir. COMEUFOR, Major General Friedrich Schrötter, led the event where Command of the MNBN was handed over from Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Blasch to Lieutenant Colonel Harald Zagler.
COMEUFOR, Major General Friedrich Schrötter said: “I would like to express my gratitude and respect for the valuable contribution made by Lieutenant Colonel Blasch who will hand over his Command today, following a highly successful six months as Commander of the Multinational Battalion. The Multinational Battalion must be prepared at all times to conduct operations independently or in support of the local authorities or the international community, when requested, in order to protect the Safe and Secure Environment.”
Outgoing MNBN Commander, Lt Col Christoph Blasch said to Major General Schrötter “your focus was always to ensure we were ready to execute missions successfully, taking care of your troops with heart. It was a great honour for me to get your open-minded advice and to have such great comradeship”.
Incoming MNBN Commander, Lt Col Harald Zagler said: “The Multinational Battalion is one of the key elements, or under some circumstances even the decisive element, within the EUFOR mission in BiH, to contribute to a stable, peaceful and multi-ethnic dominated environment. To be able to take over the command of this Battalion is not only a great honour, it also marks the peak of my military career which started in 2001 with my graduation from the military academy.”
The MNBN mission is to be prepared to conduct operations autonomously or in support of the BiH authorities or European Union/International Community Agencies in Theatre when requested, in order to maintain a Safe and Secure Environment (SASE). The MNBN, based in Camp Butmir, is presently made up of soldiers from Austria and Turkey. It can be reinforced by rapidly deployable and capable reserve forces from EU partner nations at short notice. Those forces are held on standby in their respective countries and would only deploy on operations if the situation required it.