The Commander of the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo, Brigadier General Eric Folkestad, praised the brave efforts of all those throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) who work hard and fight forest fires.
Brigadier General Folkestad yesterday visited the 2nd Helicopter Squadron of the Armed Forces (AF BiH) stationed in Rajlovac and the Operational-Communication Center (OCCenter) in the Ministry of Security of BiH.
During his visit to Rajlovac, the commander talked with the squadron commander and the aviation advisor of the NATO Headquarters Sarajevo about the capabilities and readiness of the helicopter. During the visit, he had the opportunity to see the crews conducting test maintenance for the flight, which is part of regular operations to ensure they are ready to respond immediately upon receiving a call for help.
At the Ministry of Security, he met with the team responsible for coordinating related activities to fight and prevent the spread of fires.
To help them do this, the team uses the NATO-funded system (the Next-Generation Incident Command System) to coordinate the response and share real-time information with people on the field. During a briefing with the center’s director, the commander was particularly concerned and wanted to learn more about where the fire was approaching populated areas, critical, infrastructure, or areas that are still contaminated with mines.
After the visit, Brigadier General Folkestad said:
“Support to civilian authorities in times of crisis is a vital part of the mission of every unit of the AF of BiH. And the AF are here- ready and willing to help, if and when they are called, ” he stated.
Also, he noted that when visiting the OC center, he could see how efficiently the funds were used and how closely the situation was monitored.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved so far. The weather has brought temporary relief, but the forest fire season is still going on. It is good to know that there is this experienced, equipped, and well-trained capability in BiH if the situation worsens.”, Klix.ba writes.