2010 Embassy Events
Re-Enforcing Strong Ties: New Joint U.S.-BIH Military-To-Military Facility Opens At Kasarna Rajlovac
January 29, 2010
On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, U.S. Brigadier General Joe Ramirez, the head of a delegation from the United States Armed Forces European Command (EUCOM), joined Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH) Brigadier General Mirko Tepsic in presiding over the opening ceremony of a new joint U.S.-BiH Conference facility at Kasarna Rajlovac. The building is specifically intended to support the ongoing military-to-military exchange program between the two nations’ armed forces.
The military-to-military program was established in 2003 with the expressed purpose of familiarizing members of the AFBiH with U.S./NATO training and equipment standards, sharing effective tactics and procedures, and assisting in the ongoing BiH defense reform process. Since its inception, the bi-lateral military-to-military program has grown from two events a year to over thirty. It has brought over 300 U.S. military personnel to BiH and sent over 2,000 AFBiH participants to events in BiH, Germany, and the United States. Each year, the two nation’s military staffs meet in Sarajevo to plan the following year’s events. They ensure that these events are relevant to the current challenges facing the AFBiH as well as responsive to the specific needs of AFBiH units.
Before the actual ribbon-cutting ceremony at Rajlovac, General Ramirez delivered a speech in which he acknowledged the strong relationship between the two states’ militaries and the importance of building robust personal and professional ties between their respective military ranks. He and General Tepsic met with the members of a U.S. Military Contact Team, who flew in from Germany to lecture on Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) response operations. The U.S. team will emphasize the NATO standards associated with those types of operations.
More than 30 AFBiH officers and soldiers from units all over the country assembled in the hall to take part in the opening ceremony. They are also participating in the three-day NBC conference that will take place at Rajlovac and at a training facility in Tuzla.
The U.S. General’s visit came just two days before the start of the annual Bi-lateral Defense Consultation between BiH and the United States, an event that will bring senior U.S. Armed Forces officers and civilian policymakers to Sarajevo for substantive discussions with their BiH counterparts on defense-related matters.