The ambassador of the USA in BiH Patrick S. Moon on his blog gave a comment about the Armed Forces of BiH (AF BiH) and their contribution to peace and security.
Moon said that on January 14 twenty-six BiH military police personnel deployed to Afghanistan to serve as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. The BiH Armed Forces contingent will serve alongside, and be fully integrated with, American soldiers from the Maryland National Guard, working in the military-police task force operations centre in Kandahar. They will be integrated in units that provide protection for the U.S. command group during missions outside the base.
”Bosnia and Herzegovina’s participation in this mission is one of the single best signs of how far this country has come in the nearly two decades since the war ended here. These 26 soldiers spent five months in intensive training, not only here, but in the U.S. and at a U.S. military training centre in Germany. They received the same training as their American counterparts heading out on the same mission, earning consistent praise from trainers here, in Germany and in Maryland. In short, Bosnia and Herzegovina‘s soldiers have trained hard and have distinguished themselves as capable, professional, and prepared. They are ready for the challenges ahead. ”, wrote Moon.
He added that all of Bosnia and Herzegovina can take pride in their success and well earned reputation.
He noted that the state partnership program between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the State of Maryland has long been one of our strongest and most fruitful exchange and training programs.
” This deployment is a sign of the ever increasing strength of our partnership. At the same time, it illustrates increased professionalism, maturing capabilities, growing contributions, and ultimately, how much the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina have increased their interoperability with the world’s most capable military forces. The deploying unit represents the best of the Armed Forces of BiH. And, with the proper support, funding and respect for the obligations due to all service members, it represents what the entire Armed Forces of BiH will be in the future – a highly trained, highly capable force, meeting and exceeding NATO standards, honourably representing the democratic and multi-ethnic country of BiH, and standing ready to make important contributions to international security around the world.’’, added Moon.
He added that it is clear that the soldiers and officers and leaders of the BiH Armed Forces are ready to take the next step.
”I can only reiterate what I have long told political leaders here – they must take the next step, resolve the defence property issue, activate Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Membership Action Plan, and move BiH forward towards membership in the NATO Alliance. The troops are ready. The political agreement has been reached. It must be implemented now. It is time to move forward.”, said Moon.
He added that only seven years after the creation of a single military, and seventeen years after NATO troops brought peace to BiH, soldiers from Bosnia and Herzegovina are helping bring peace in Afghanistan.
” I had a chance to briefly meet each of the deploying soldiers at a pre-deployment ceremony at Rajlovac several weeks ago. As I shook hands with each soldier, I was impressed by their confidence, pride and spirit. I will repeat the message I told them and their many friends and family members who were there: I am proud of them — proud of all the work they have done to prepare, and proud of how well they represent Bosnia and Herzegovina.’’, concluded Moon.