Major General Dieter Heidecker will remain in his post for another 12 months in Bosnia and Herzegovina as Commander of EUFOR. The Operation Commander, General Sir Richard Shirreff, confirmed the Austrian General in his post and congratulated him for his leadership and successes with EUFOR over the past year. General Heidecker took over the command of EUFOR Operation Althea on 3 December 2012 from his predecessor Major General Robert Brieger who is also an Austrian General.
In his second year as COM EUFOR General Heidecker’s main efforts are the continuing contribution of support to the Bosnian authorities in maintaining a safe and secure environment and to assist BiH and its armed forces with a successful path towards Euro-Atlantic integration. This is one part of the Capacity Building and Training (CB&T) program that EUFOR is conducting together with the Armed Forces of BiH (AF BiH).
For General Heidecker one of the most important projects, besides Capacity Building and Training, is to support the BiH Ministry of Defense to continue considerable progress on the reduction of surplus ammunition and weapons stocks within BiH.
“I am convinced that with the will of the people of BiH, together with political readiness to compromise and strong leadership, BiH can progress towards the EU and offer its citizens, especially the younger members of society, greater opportunities for the future and a better life together”, said Heidecker.
The High Representative H.E. Valentin Inzko welcomed the extension of the mandate of EUFOR Commander, Major General Dieter Heidecker as he is a trusted and valued partner for all international and domestic actors in BiH. The High Representative believes that the continued presence of the EU and NATO military missions in BiH, working in line with their respective recently renewed executive mandates and the GFAP, plays a vital role in assisting the BiH authorities in maintaining a safe and secure environment throughout BiH.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina of Peter Sorensen congratulated EUFOR Commander Major General Dieter Heidecker’s extension of his mandate for one more year:
“Under General Heidecker’s command, EUFOR greatly contributed to capacity building and training of the BiH Armed Forces as well as to the safety of the country. EUFOR is an essential part of the EU family in BiH and this means that we are on the same mission here – assisting citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to develop their country into a safe, secure and prosperous future member-state of the EU. I am looking forward to our future work in reaching that goal.”
Harald Quiel, Head of the Department for Security Co-operation at the OSCE Mission to BiH, said:
“The OSCE Mission to BiH welcomes this decision and we are pleased to continue the close cooperation which has been further developed between our two organizations under the leadership of Major General Heidecker.”
Major General Dieter Heidecker was born on February 6 1954 in Kufstein in Tyrol, Austria. Among other higher level appointments in his long and varied military career, he was appointed as the first Austrian Military Attaché to the Western European Union in Brussels and Deputy Defense Attaché for Belgium in 1995. From 1997 to 2002 General Heidecker was the Austrian Defense Attaché for France, Tunisia, Morocco and Luxembourg while residing in Paris. On September 1, 2006 General Heidecker was appointed as the Deputy Commanding General of the Austrian Armed Forces. He holds a Master of Philosophy from the University of Vienna and his favorite sports include mountaineering, skiing, parachuting and jogging. Besides his mother tongue Major General Heidecker speaks French and English.