Bosnia and Herzegovina – Joint Forces Command Naples Military Partnership Branch evaluated the Bosnia and Herzegovina Light Infantry Battalion Group (INF-L-BNG) from September 20 to 25.
The evaluation is part of the Operational Capabilities Concept Evaluation and Feedback (OCC E&F) programme, designed to assess the level of interoperability of partner units in the NATO Pool of Forces (PoF). Members of the INF-L-BNG were assessed by NATO evaluators in several areas including training, organization, structure, and equipment, according to the NATO standards.
11 companies and several platoons of various specialties from BiH have already been certified to participate in peacekeeping operations led by NATO, the United Nations, or the European Union. This year marks the first evaluation at the group level by NATO evaluators. Next year the group will continue the certification process with a Self-Evaluation Level-2 (SEL-2) as well as NATO Evaluation Level-2 (NEL-2), so that by 2022 BIH could have a NATO-certified battalion combat group of light infantry.
"It is important that the INF-L-BNG raises the level of interoperability with NATO and improves the quality of training, but these efforts also raise standards across the BiH AF" said Colonel General Mašović, Chief of the Joint Staff of the AF BiH. The BIH Battle Group was the largest evaluated unit in the OCC E&F programme history with 819 total assigned personnel. The Evaluation Team consisted of a total 52 people from 11 nations including BiH, with evaluators and SMEs coming from Allied Joint Forces Command Naples, Allied Joint Forces Command Brunssum, and Land Command Izmir.
Organizing the evaluation was particularly complex due to the very short notice confirmation and the well-known issues related to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. "Putting together 52 evaluators from different Nationalities and Commands in less than 10 days required an enormous effort and I truly appreciate the job carried out by my team and the great support provided by JFCBS and LANDCOM," said Col Marechal, J9 Military Partnership Branch Head. Stressing that special attention was paid to coronavirus prevention measures and guidance throughout the process, Col Marechal added, "without external support this evaluation would not have been possible, but in the end we may say: Mission accomplished!"
Bosnia and Herzegovina – A member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Light Infantry Battalion Group (INF-L-BNG) fires while his unit was evaluated by the Joint Forces Command Naples Military Partnership Branch from September 20 to 25. (Photo courtesy JFC Naples J-9)