Brigadier General Peter Klement (DEU) chairs the Expert Staff Meeting with Bosnia & Herzegovina Armed Forces delegation virtually hosted at Allied Joint Force Command J9 Military Partnership Branch on 02 December 2020 in Joint Force Command Naples, Lago Patria, Italy.
LAGO PATRIA, Italy – Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFCNP) J9 Military Partnership Branch had the distinct pleasure to virtually host a Bosnia and Herzegovina Armed Forces delegation for an Expert Staff Meeting (ESM) on 2 December 2020.
Attendees included a wide range of representation from across the NATO corporate structure to include the International Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Allied Land Command, Allied Air Command, NATO Special Operations HQ, NATO School Oberammergau, and the NATO HQ Sarajevo.
This event held special significance as it coincided with the recurrence of the fifteenth anniversary of the BIH membership in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme.
The ESM is a partnership activity during which participants review military cooperation goals and objectives, provide two-way information exchange on training events and requirements, develop a more synchronized and practical military cooperation program and facilitate practical cooperation and mutual understanding aimed at growing relationships with respective Partner Countries.
Brigadier General Peter Klement (DEU), Assistant Chief of Staff J9 (ACOS J9), and Colonel Ostojic, the Chief of International Cooperation Department (BiH MOD) highlighted the importance of cooperation between JFCNP and the BiH Armed Forces, and both stressed the negative effects of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and wished to meet each other in person to discuss subjects face-to-face as soon as possible.
During this virtual exchange, participants reviewed multiple topics to strengthen the relationship between NATO and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Areas of concern mainly focused on the analysis of potential gap which the pandemic might create with 2020 cancelled or postponed activities. It was discussed that using Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) and small group training to train on specific functions could mitigate the pandemic impact.
Although in-person events would be much more preferable, BIH has shown flexibility and the capability to collaborate via other means, for example, by adhering to the JFCNP initiative to use virtual training solution to mitigate the consequences of current travel restrictions and virus control preventative measures.
BIH-NATO cooperation comprises a wide range of areas to include the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP), the Building Integrity (BI) programme, the Interoperability platform and the Operational Capability Concept Evaluation and Feedback (OCC E&F) programme. With regard to the latter, it is worth noting that BIH offers the most significant contribution to the Operational Capability Concept Pool of Forces (OCC PoF) with the declaration of a Light Infantry Battalion Group which encompasses several combat units and combat support units with a total of more than 800 soldiers.
Story by Italian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Luigi Cipri, JFC Naples Military Partnership Branch