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NATO HQ Sarajevo  /  News  /  2022  /  AFBiH undertake the toughest test in in its 16-year history

Sep 22 2022

AFBiH undertake the toughest test in in its 16-year history

Representatives from around 30 countries joined the NHQsa Commander and political and military leaders from BiH on Manjača today to mark the end of an incredible four-year journey for AFBiH.

The guests were observing Exercise COMBINED EFFORT 22 – an intense five-day exercise during which the readiness and capacity of AFBiH Light Infantry Battalion Group (INF-L-BNG) to work in multinational environments is being assessed.

Among the guests assembled where Member of the Presidency of BiH Željko Komšić, Defence Minister Sifet Podžić, Deputy Defence Minister for Resource Management Mirko Okolić, the EUFOR Chief of Staff, and Ambassadors from the UK and Norway, as well as defence attaches and military representatives from almost every NATO nation. They joined the multinational military advisory team from NATO HQ Sarajevo and NATO assessors, drawn from a variety of partner nations, as the exercise reached its conclusion.

Major General Radovan Ilić, AFBiH Commander Operational Command, said that the “Combined Effort 22” is the culmination of evaluation of the INF-L-BNG and their preparations which had lasted for four years.

This unit, together with all other commands, has invested a lot of efforts, hard work, sweat and I hope that with its knowledge, skills and demonstrated level of knowledge of tactics and procedures, it will be assessed positively.
Deputy Defense Minister for Resource Management Mirko Okolić and Brigadier General Pamela McGaha during the excercise in Manjača.
Photo: NATO Headquarters Sarajevo
Member of the Presidency of BiH Željko Komšić with Defence Minister Sifet Podžić.
Photo: NATO Headquarters Sarajevo

Brigadier General Pamela McGaha, Commander NATO HQ Sarajevo said that this exercise marks an incredible achievement of the AFBiH.

This week servicemen and servicewomen mark an incredible achievement. Over 800 members of INF-L-BNG are excelling on the international stage this week, and they are representing the whole of Armed Forces proudly. The exercise demonstrates successful partnership between the Ministry of Defense, the AFBiH and the nations who have provided their support. The NATO advisors alongside BIH this week represent Slovenia, Italy, Turkiye, the US and Great Britain, as well as evaluators from partner countries such as Austria, Ireland and Serbia. As the exercise name ‘Combined Resolve’ represents, this event showcases the combined benefits that come from sharing knowledge, equipment and expertise from so many Defense professionals.

McGaha said. 

This evaluation process is just one of the ways NATO encourages the military forces of Allied and Partner nations to work together and cooperate on political, as well as military issues and civil emergency response. Declared units remain under national command and can only be deployed with their nation’s consent- but regularly train together in NATO exercises, as well as taking part in bi-lateral (nation to nation) exercises, working as one team to keep all our citizens safe.

Photo: NATO Headquarters Sarajevo.

Story by NHQSa Public Affairs Office

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