EUFOR Chief of Staff, Brigadier General András Szűcs began a tour of seven visits to meet with his 10 Embedded Advisory Teams (EATs) around BiH on 29 April 2014. These EATs are small groups of advisors who work in close coordination with their counterparts from the Armed Forces of BiH (AF BiH) in various organizations, embedded to the force structure of AF BiH at Joint Staff level down to the brigades. They are part of EUFOR’s main effort working on Partnership Goals to build and improve the capacity of the AF BiH on a wide variety of military capabilities.
There are two teams at the AF BiH Joint Staff HQ in Sarajevo one of which is the so called ‘Lessons Learned’ EAT, where two Polish staff officers work on implementing Lessons Learned doctrines and systems for AF BiH. The other embedded team in the Joint Staff HQ consists of an Albanian and a Dutch senior staff officer who work closely with the key decision makers in AF BiH on different capacity building projects and tasks according to the Partnership Goals requirements as a part of the Partnership for Peace Action Review Plan.
After a warm welcome, Brigadier General Szűcs first met with Brigadier General Tepšić, the Deputy Chief Joint Staff Operations of AF BiH, to familiarize himself with the current situation at the Joint Staff level and to improve the cooperation for future capacity building efforts for AF BiH and they agreed to meet again after Brigadier General Szűcs concludes his visit programme by the middle of June. Their discussion also concerned the establishment of a joint working group in the near future, to further improve the work of the EATs.
After the meeting, LTC Jan Bogusz and LTC Hans Goedings, both from EUFOR, gave Brigadier General Szűcs presentations on the current status of several of the projects related to the Partnership Goals that they are advising and assisting on. In conclusion, Brigadier General Szűcs stated that EUFOR’s main focus will be to continue to assist AF BiH to build their capacity and incorporate robust and self-sustaining systems to further their integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. After this visit, COS EUFOR will continue his programmed tour at the different levels of the AF BiH command structures.
Weapons and Ammunition management is one of the most important tasks for EUFOR’s Joint Military Affairs Branch (JMA) and EUFOR’s Capacity Building and Training Division (CBTD). There is a major effort to reduce the quantity of Weapons and Ammunition Storage Sites in BiH, so it is necessary to have and to train the best professionals in this field.
To this end, a Theoretical and Practical Advanced Ammunition Course was organised by EUFOR for Armed Forces of BiH (AF BiH) personnel in Ammunition Storage Site Gabela from 8 – 25 April 2014.
The training was conducted by AF BiH and a EUFOR mobile training team, under the leadership of the Austrian Armed Logistics School and with technical support staff from Armaments and Military Technology and Operational Support Command. The topics of this course were “Visual ammunition inspection” and “Chemical Stability Tests of Propellants”.
From 07 to 17 April 2014, a EUFOR Turkish contingent Mobile Mentoring Team mentored a 9-day Information and Network Security Course, which was successfully conducted by instructors from the BiH Armed Forces. This course was the fifth of 11 CIS courses planned for 2014 and had 14 participants from different units of AF BiH.
The main aim of this course, which took place at the Tactical Support Brigade Barracks in Rajlovac, was to mentor CIS instructors from the BiH Armed Forces, who conducted the training, while EUFOR mentored and advised them. With this course, the BiH Armed Forces now has its own trainers and more trained personnel in this field and is now in the position to further develop their CIS training structure.
From 07 – 11 April 2014, a platoon of the EUFOR Turkish Contingent Multinational Battalion conducted combined training with a platoon of the 1st Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Brigade of the Armed Forces of BiH in Dubrave, the former SFOR/EUFOR Eagle Base.
The aim of this training was to strengthen the abilities and skills of the soldiers in conducting peace support operations. The training focused on how to run Checkpoints and also included Convoy Training.
These Combined Training serials are an important aspect of the overall Capacity Building and Training Program provided by EUFOR to support the Armed Forces of BiH on the way towards Euro-Atlantic integration.
On 28th March 2014, the Bi-monthly CBTD meeting took place in Camp BUTMIR. The aim of the meeting was the revision of the goals reached during the last two months, as well as the way for the near future regarding training activities. All members of Capacity Building and Training Division (CBTD), including the Embedded Advisory Teams (EATs), attended the meeting, as well as representatives from NATO and the Armed Forces of BiH (AF BiH) Joint Staff.