Written by Lt Cdr Andy Mullins
On the 28th February 2011, Senior Officers from EUFOR, Germany and Slovakia gathered in Camp Butmir to mark the Change of Command of a number of LOT Houses. The Change of Command ceremony was also attended by H.E. Mr. Miroslav Mojzita, Slovakian Ambassador, Ms Christiana Markert, Counsellor and Deputy Head of the German Mission and Lt Gen Milojčić, Chief of the AFBIH Joint Staff.
Germany has been in Command of Regional Coordination Centre (RCC) South which supervised the work of their Liaison and Observation Teams (LOT) based in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. As part of a reorganisation, Slovakia is taking charge of a similar area and the operation of LOT Houses; in Višegrad, Sarajevo and Foča.
Major General Wolf-Dietrich Kriesel, the Deputy Commander of the German Armed Forces Operations Command said in his speech “in nearly 7 years, during which more than 500 men and women were employed, the German LOTs within the EUFOR mission established not only close relationships but partnerships”. He also thanked the Turkish and Swiss troops who they have worked alongside.
On behalf of the of the incoming Slovakian troops Brigadier General Pavel Macko, the Chief of Operations, General Staff, thanked the Germans for their assistance and looked forward to the challenges of the new tasking. The Slovakians’ new role in EUFOR was announced by their Defence Minister Ľubomír Galko during his visit in December.
COM EUFOR, Major General Bernhard Bair, repeated the praise for the efforts of the German contingent and was sure that the Slovakians’ would maintain the high standards of the mission.
The band of the Armed Forces of BiH provided a musical accompaniment to the ceremony and the reception held afterwards.
EUFOR now has 29 LOT houses covering Bosnia and Herzegovina acting as the eyes and ears of the organisation.
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