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Sep 22 2021

JFC MILITARY PARTNERSHIP BRANCH MONITORS A NATO EVALUATION OF THE BIH LIGHT INFANTRY BATTALION GROUP

At Training area ''Manjaca'', BANJA LUKA, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Joint Forces Command Naples Military Partnership Branch along with Land Command Izmir, monitored the Self-evaluation Level-2 (SEL-2)of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) Light Infantry Battalion Group (INF-L-BNG) from September 06 to 10. 2021.

The evaluation is part of the Operational Capabilities Concept Evaluation and Feedback (OCC E&F) Programme, designed to assess the level of capability of partner units in the NATO Pool of Forces (PoF). Members of the INF-L-BNG were CREVAL assessed by the national evaluation team and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), augmented by support from Austria, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Tunisia, Serbia and Sweden, who provided two evaluators each. The NATO monitor team was supported by two observers from the NATO Headquarters Sarajevo (NHQSa), who with their attitude, professionalism and expertise helped to ensure that the SEL-2 was success.

11 units of the INF-L-BNG, companies and platoons sizes 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 the group continued the certification process with the third-level assessment of the SEL-2 of the declared unit of the INF-L-BNG, organized with the aim of checking the level of capability and interoperability of the INF-L-BNG. The INF-L-BNG was evaluated in several areas including training, organization, structure, and equipment, according to the NATO standards.

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The  ''Manjaca'' Training Area, Banja Luka, BIH, in a moment of the conducting an offensive operation, 06-10 September 2021.

On the Visitors' Day, representatives of the BiH Ministry of Defense, the Joint Staff of the BiH Armed Forces, the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo and the EUFOR Command underlined that the SEL-2 was a big step toward NATO Evaluation Level-2 (NEL-2), so that by 2022 BIH could have a NATO-certified the Light infantry battalion group.

Organizing and conducting the evaluation was particularly complex due to size of the evaluated unit and the well-known issues related to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The INF-L-BNG is one of the largest declared units to the NATO PoF. The SEL 2 included more than 1100 members of the Armed Forces of the Bosnia and Herzegovina and during the entire evaluation the special attention was paid to the COVID 19 prevention measures. The Joint NATO monitoring team is looking forward to conducting the NEL-2 in 2022. and award the Battalion ''Combat Ready''.

Story by OCC E&F section, JFC Naples, Military Partnership Branch

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