On the 10th October 2013, Commander EUFOR, Major General Dieter Heidecker, welcomed General Necdet Özel, the Chief of the Turkish General Staff who is on an official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), to EUFOR HQ, Camp Butmir in SARAJEVO.
During an Office Call the Generals discussed the overall security situation in the country and the wider region, EUFOR’s activities in delivering the overarching European Security and Defence Policy mission in BiH and the recent training activities by EUFOR personnel with the Armed Forces of BiH as part of the Capacity Building and Training programme.
General Heidecker thanked General Özel for the high level of cooperation in the field of Peace Support Operations in BiH and for the continuing contribution of Turkish troops to Operation Althea.
Turkey is one of the largest troop contributing nations to the EUFOR mission, providing manpower to the Multinational Battalion (MNBN) and filling essential Staff Officer positions within the Headquarters. Turkey also provides manpower in five of the EUFOR Liaison and Observation Teams (LOTs) at ZAVIDOVICI, TRAVNIK, ZENIKA, LIVNO and JABLANICA. COM EUFOR particularly praised the professionalism of the Turkish troops under his command and their significant contribution to the work of EUFOR.
Since the 4 August 2011 General Özel has been the Chief of the Turkish General Staff and thus the highest ranking Officer in command of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF). After graduating from the Military Academy in 1969 and the Infantry School in 1970, he later served as the Commander of the Aegean Army, as the Commander of the 2nd Army and as the Commander of the Gendarmerie prior to his present appointment.