United States (U.S.) Ambassador Michael Murphy sent a message yesterday on the occasion of the Day of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH).
As he said, since its formation, the AFBiH have served with dignity and at the highest level in the country and abroad. Their contribution to the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions across Africa further cemented their reputation as a professional military capable of operating in complex situations.
“The AFBiH represent the best of the citizens of BiH. They are a patriotic, multi-ethnic team of volunteers who, despite the fact that some are trying to undermine that institution, excel in every task they are assigned. The U.S. has a strong relationship with the AFBiH. For more than ten years, the AFBiH and the U.S.Army have fought and bled together on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan,” Murphy stressed.
As he stated, today the AFBiH are a close partner of the NATO alliance and contribute to the NATO mission through the Partnership for Peace program.
“With that in mind, I congratulate the members of the Light Infantry Battalion Group for the excellence they demonstrated during the NATO assessment, making them a qualified unit within NATO’s Partnership for Peace force. The U.S. is proud to have contributed to the development of the Light Infantry Battalion Group by providing support through training and equipment worth eleven and a half million dollars, which all together increased the level of combat readiness of this unit,” the ambassador pointed out.
According to him, the U.S. partnership with the AFBiH is as solid as a rock, as it has been developed for years through close cooperation.
“Since 2003, the AFBiH have maintained a strong military-to-military relationship with the Maryland National Guard through the State Partnership Program. American cooperation with the AFBiH also takes place through the security programs of the U.S.,” said Murphy.
He reminded that the recently awarded grants include the purchase of four Huey II helicopters, 86 Humvee vehicles, and the equipping of the Battalion Group, which together amounts to over sixty million dollars.
The U.S., he added, regularly invests in the professional military education of members of the AFBiH, sending approximately twenty-five members of the AFBiH to various military institutions across the U.S. each year. Since the founding of the AFBiH, the U.S. has been its number one partner.
“There is no other country that cares more about BiH and supporting the AFBiH than the U.S., which we are proud of. And the U.S. will do even more. I am happy to announce today that this year the U.S. is giving an additional seventeen million dollars in support to the AFBiH. These additional funds include five million dollars for cyber security infrastructure and training for the Ministry of Defense and the AFBiH,” he revealedyesterday.
This will help build the capacity and resilience of the Ministry of Defense and the AFBiH in defense against malicious attacks on their IT networks. The U.S. will also continue to invest in the development of the aviation capabilities of the AFBiH.
“This year, we are allocating twelve million dollars for the purchase of advanced helicopter simulators. We are also investing an additional twenty-three million dollars in new Huey II helicopters with the aim of further modernizing the helicopter fleet of the AFBiH. These investments are proof of the continued commitment of the U.S. to the AFBiH. During decades of combat deployment, training, and cooperation, the U.S. is BiH‘s strongest and most persistent partner in the field of security,” told Murphy.
He concluded that the people of this country can count on the U.S. to remain committed to the partnership with BiH, whether it is the fight against political instability in BiH or the acute threat posed by malicious actors outside of BiH.