New faces in Camp BUTMIR
Those who frequently visit EUFOR’s Camp BUTMIR in SARAJEVO will surely have noticed many new faces and quite an increase in the number of Hungarian soldiers. The reason is that the soldiers of the Austrian Infantry Company, who were part of the Multinational Battalion (MNBN), have recently been replaced by Hungarian military personnel. Austrian and Hungarian combat units took part in the EUFOR “Althea” Peace Support Operation (PSO) since the beginning and served together as part of one military unit perfectly well some years.
Throughout their deployment, the operation has been evolving with regard to its composition and its specific everyday jobs and objectives. During that time the force levels have changed too, especially after the EU has decided to increase its efforts in the capacity-building and training of the Bosnian authorities and, in particular, the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AF BiH).
As the purely military tasks and thus the number of EUFOR manoeuvre troops has gone down, the Austrian and Hungarian troops are not anymore serving alongside each other but are now deployed in a rotational system, meaning that they are replacing each other every 12 months. One such rotation between the Austrian and Hungarian Motorized Infantry Companies took place only recently. During the next 12 months Hungarian “H-Coy” will be conducting all necessary PSO duties within the framework of EUFOR’s Multinational Battalion, while the Austrian Company will become part of the Intermediate Reserve (IR) system.
Officially taking over responsibilities
The formal takeover of responsibilities was marked by a small ceremony at the Multinational Battalion Headquarters inside Camp BUTMIR, presided over by the Commander EUFOR, Major General Dieter Heidecker. COM EUFOR welcomed the new Hungarian personnel and, in particular, congratulated the Company Commander on having successfully achieved “Full Operational Capability“. He reminded everybody that in a few weeks time they will have the chance to show their full potential during the upcoming ‘Exercise Quick Response 2’ that will take place between the 2nd and 12th of September 2013. For the duration of that exercise, EUFOR will be reinforced by Intermediate Reserve (IR) Forces from Slovakia and Austria. Such exercises regularly provide the MNBN with the possibility to practice the integration of back up troops and at the same time to train together with the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AF BiH) under a fictitious international Peace Support Operation scenario.
Exercise Quick Response 2
The IR concept foresees that one Multinational Battalion is based permanently in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while, in order to provide operational flexibility, additional forces are held at readiness in 6 contributing EU countries. The EU will take all necessary steps to ensure additional forces are deployed if needed to maintain peace and stability in the region. An Austrian Infantry Company will soon be back again in BiH, as EUFOR at present is preparing for such an operational rehearsal. The exercise, codenamed ‘Exercise Quick Response 2’, will take place in the area of MOSTAR and LIVAC and will once more test the ability to activate, quickly deploy and integrate companies into the MNBN structure.
Exercise Quick Response 2 will be conducted in two phases. One phase will see the integration and deployment of two incoming IR companies During the second phase, the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina will train together with the reinforced MNBN. Learning the skills required in international peace support operations, like using English as the working language, drafting and executing Standard Operational Procedures, adhering to Rules of Engagement and other typical international procedures, will help the AF BiH to improve their ability to design and execute own exercise scenarios. EUFOR’s capacity-building and training objectives are designed to advance the skills of the members of the AF BiH to a point where they will be capable of meeting all the challenges that troops in modern multinational peace support operations are potentially confronted with, and move from a security consumer to a security provider.
Distinguished Visitors Day
The highlight of Exercise Quick Response 2 will be a display of skills and equipment in front of distinguished guests and media representatives commencing at 14:00 hours on 12th September 2013 inside the AF BiH military barracks in LIVAC.
Chief Press Officer:
Lt Col Otmar Lindner AUT Army
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Lt Cdr Paul Gill RN
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