EU's military deployment in Bosnia starts annual Quick Response exercise


The opening ceremony for the EUFOR’s Quick Response annual exercise was held at the Butmir military base near Sarajevo in presence of the state and foreign officials, the EU's military deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) said on Sunday.

The exercise tests EUFOR’s capability to call up and deploy over-the-horizon reserve forces held at high readiness by contributing nations.

“The preparation has been conducted in close cooperation with the AFBiH, the Law Enforcement Agencies and the respective ministries and without this cooperation, the Exercise would not be possible,” EUFOR Commander, Major General Reinhard Trischak, said in the opening address.

EUFOR reserve troops have arrived from Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, the United Kingdom and KFOR to join and integrate with their colleagues from EUFOR’s permanent Multinational Battalion, before deploying to locations across Bosnia and Herzegovina for the duration of the exercise.

Every soldier entering the country has followed strict quarantine and COVID testing regulations in accordance with the international, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s and EUFOR rules.

“We have signed this week an agreement which gives EUFOR renewed momentum to continue moving forward with our partners. Cooperation and liaison with the Armed Forces of BiH will endure, ” said Brigadier General Ernő Baráth, the exercise director.

During the exercise, troops will be tested by a series of un-alerted scenarios to examine their response and ensure the intensive integration programme conducted at Camp Butmir is successful.

The EUFOR is a military deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina in charge of overseeing the military implementation of the Dayton Agreement, a peace treaty which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

EUFOR Operation Althea is currently made up of soldiers from 20 nations. Its primary role is to support the country's efforts to maintain a safe and secure environment, whilst providing support to the overall EU comprehensive strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina.