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NATO HQ Sarajevo  /  News  /  2024  /  NATO Headquarters Sarajevo Change of Command

May 10 2024

NATO Headquarters Sarajevo Change of Command

Today, at BiH Armed Forces Hall, NATO HQ Sarajevo witnessed its Change of Command from Brigadier General Pamela McGaha (US Army) to Brigadier General Matthew A. Valas (US Army) in an official ceremony presided over by the JFC Naples Commander, Admiral Stuart B. Munsch.

Admiral Munsch welcomed BG Valas to NATO HQ Sarajevo while thanking BG McGaha for her outstanding contribution to the mission:

Brigadier General McGaha has led the NATO Headquarters here for more than 2 years and has worked tirelessly with her counterparts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While she leaves us today, we are confident that Brigadier General Valas will take charge to pick up the mission and drive it forward.

Reflecting on the long standing partnership between NATO and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Admiral Munsch stated:

ˮNATO respects Bosnia and Herzegovina and is committed to working together to advance our mutual interests. I believe that security and stability in the Western Balkans is a shared interest of NATO and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our partnership advances that goal, and the shared security that results provides real economic opportunity for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.“

Looking back at the successes achieved together in the past two years, BG McGaha said:

ˮNATO and its Allies are unwavering in our commitment to lasting peace and security for the citizens of BiH. And over the last two years, we have proven that NATO is willing to match our words with actions: with enhanced support and a historic series of visits, to include the Secretary General, the Chairman of the Military Committee and the North Atlantic Council.

It has been said that Bosnia is a place “where hospitality is a way of life and beauty lies in the diversity of its landscapes and people”. It’s a sentiment I have certainly found to be true. And I am honoured to have been afforded the incredible privilege of commanding NATOs mission in BiH.“

Accepting command, BG Valas stated that this was not his first deployment to BiH. He was first deployed in support of the NATO-led, Stabilisation Force 6 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 1999 – 2000.

I am thankful for the opportunity to return to BiH after departing over 23 years ago at the conclusion of Stabilisation Force 6. I am ready to serve with this team of dedicated, experienced, multinational experts, working tirelessly to increase the defense institutional capacity and armed forces capability of our BiH partners to ultimately improve the livelihood of every citizen. We remain committed, as renewed regional security challenges remind us of our need to continuously strengthen our partnerships, capacity, and capabilities.

Remarks BG Pamela McGaha

Remarks BG Matthew A. Valas

Story by NHQSa Public Affairs Office

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