Story by Staff Sgt. Amber Sorsek, NHQSa Public Affairs
CAMP BUTMIR, Sarajevo — NATO Headquarters Sarajevo leadership visited the 4th Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Capljina the morning of Nov. 10, 2017.
In the afternoon, Brig. Gen. Robert Huston, NHQSa commander, spoke at the Atlantic Council of BiH conference in Medjugorje. The visit to the Herzegovina region was valuable in building partnerships with AFBiH and youth from different universities.
Brig. Gen. Tomo Kolenda, 4th Infantry Brigade of the AFBiH commander, gave NATO leadership a tour of Bozan Simovic Barracks.
"This is my first visit to an [AFBiH] unit,” said Brig. Gen. Robert Huston, NATO Headquarters Sarajevo commander. "I am excited to see your mission and meet your people.”
AFBiH contribute to the safety and security of the country despite manning and equipment challenges.
"[Our brigade] regularly performs in international exercises, exercises with EUFOR, and cooperate well with local civilian authorities,” said Kolenda. "We successfully conducted search and rescue exercise with the [Republika Srpska] authorities and took part in extinguishing fires in the Herzegovina region.”
Natural disasters are an on-going threat; therefore, cooperation is key to advancing the safety and security of the nation.
During the Atlantic Council of BiH conference, Huston said, "The AFBiH increases the capacity of the security establishment to help in times of natural or other disasters.”
Hundreds of students from different universities gathered at the conference to hear Huston and other ministers and ambassadors speak.
"The Atlantic Council of BiH is member of Atlantic Treaty Association, Brussels since 2014 and we have the duty and mission to promote the Euro Atlantic values throughout the fabric of this country,” said Dr. Dijana Gupta, President Atlantic Council of BiH. "We have always had superb support and cooperation from NATO Sarajevo headquarters.”
Huston emphasized the importance of allies and partners working together to confront security challenges such as natural disasters, organized crime, corruption, illegal migration, and terrorist activities.
"Regional security challenges demand regional security solutions because floods and fires do not stop at the border,” he said. "Cooperation and collaboration between Armed Forces can help to fight not only cross-border issues, but also problems in individual countries.”