Visit to EUFOR Operation Althea by Operational Commander General Sir James Everard

September 4, 2017 1:00 PM

On 29 – 31 August 2017 General Sir James Everard, KCB, CBE the Operational Commander of EUFOR Operation Althea and NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, visited EUFOR HQ, Camp Butmir. He was welcomed by COMEUFOR, Major General Anton Waldner and an Honour Guard consisting of soldiers from the Multinational Battalion (MNBN). During his visit he met with the BiH Minister of Defence, Ms. Marina Pendeš, and the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to BiH, Mr. Khaldoun Sinno, where they discussed the close cooperation of EUFOR with the BiH authorities, and EUFOR’s continuing support to the overall EU comprehensive approach for BiH, respectively. The General also had meetings with COMEUFOR, COM NATO HQ Sarajevo, Brigadier General Robert A Huston, and other key personnel to discuss the future development of the Althea mission.
General Everard also presided over his first medal parade at the EUFOR HQ. He presented the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy Medal “Althea” to service personnel from the mission. In total 162 personnel from 8 different nations were on parade and General Everard thanked them all for their dedicated service in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

General Everard was appointed Operational Commander in March 2017, when he took the post of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR). According to the Berlin Plus Agreement, the person performing this key command function also commands EUFOR Operation Althea. The Berlin Plus Agreement is a comprehensive package of agreements between NATO and the European Union made in 2002. It allows the European Union to draw on some of NATO’s military assets in its Peace Support Operations. At present EUFOR Althea is the only operation carried out under Berlin Plus agreement.

The Berlin Plus arrangement also allows, EUFOR to call on NATO reserve forces for support. This is exercised on a yearly basis during the Quick Response exercise series. This year’s exercise Quick Response will take place in October and will involve EUFOR’s Multinational Battalion, the United Kingdom Intermediate Reserve Company, Armed Forces of BiH and the KFOR Tactical Reserve Battalion. During the exercise EUFOR training its capability to call in its reserve forces in order to maintain a safe and secure environment in close co-operation with local authorities.

EUFOR Operation Althea, currently made up of soldiers from 14 EU member states and 5 partner nations, works closely with NATO and the MoD BiH, conducting capacity building and training for the Armed Forces of BiH to contribute to the resilience of BiH and enable the Armed Forces BiH to successfully participate in international Peace Support Operations. EUFOR is fully committed to support BiH “on its path to a European future” and remains a vital enabling actor in the development and maintenance of a safe and secure environment, where the peace process can continue to move forward.

(Source: eufor)

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