Written by Armin Hasecic
Currently, the MNBN is under the command of Lieutenant Colonel (Austrian Army) Harald Scharf.
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). It is the only military manoeuvre unit operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Another task is the reception and integration of the Operation ALTHEA Intermediate Reserve Force. Since EUFOR has increased its efforts in the capacity-building and training of the Bosnian authorities and, in particular, the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the MNBN can be reinforced by an Intermediate Reserve Force, a new rapidly deployable and capable force provided by six EU nations. This force will be held in their respective countries at an appropriate degree of readiness and would only deploy on operations if called forward by the Operation Commander.
Since 28th March 2007 the MNBN has formed the basis of the new European Union force structure in BiH. The MNBN, based in Camp BUTMIR (Sarajevo), presently is made up of two Motorized Companies from Austria and Turkey. A Battalion HQ provides the MNBN Commander the necessary means for planning and conducting operations.
The training of the MNBN consists of practices in cordon operations; known as Blue/Green Box techniques, Crowd and Riot Control (CRC), helicopter procedures, occupation and maintenance of Forward Operation Bases (FOB), medical evacuations, extraction of LOT personnel as well as mine awareness training. The MNBN frequently conducts its exercises in a combined way and in different areas in order to rehearse and maintain full command and control capabilities and procedures. In addition, all companies of the MNBN periodically conduct exercises in different training areas with a special focus on MOUT (Military Operation in Urban Terrain) and Live Firing.
MNBN units are equipped with weapons for self-defence, such as automatic rifles or heavy machine guns, as well as necessary gear for adequate self–protection, such as bullet-proof helmets and jackets. All MNBN units are motorized with 4–wheel drive vehicles and are able to quickly respond to any kind of situation. Orders are transmitted through the chain of command from MNBN HQ to company / unit level by an interoperable communications system, based on sat and land waves communications. The MNBN HQ in return maintains a line of communications to HQ EUFOR HQ at all times.