Story   Partnerships

Defense Official Welcomes Bosnia-Herzegovina's President to Pentagon

Nov. 26, 2019 , DOD News

The chairman of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, Zeljko Komsic, and James Anderson, who is performing the duties of deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, met today at the Pentagon as part of Komsic's first official visit to the U.S. as head of state since his election last year. 

Since Bosnia-Herzegovina achieved independence in 1992, the U.S., allies and partners have strengthened their ties with the nation to ensure mutual security and peace in the region, a defense official said.

Dayton

In 1995, the U.S. facilitated the signature of the Dayton Peace Accords to end the Bosnian war with a NATO-led Stabilization Force to guarantee peace, the defense official said. In 2004, the European Union-led Operation Althea took over that responsibility from NATO. The Dayton Accords remain the central tenet of Bosnia's security. 

A male and a female service members talk during a training exercise.
Cargo Training
Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Rymer, 435th Contingency Response Squadron mobile aerial port supervisor, provides training on securing cargo to Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina 2nd Lt. Medina Hodzic, Basic Platoon in Transport commander, Battalion of Logistic Support, Sept. 11, 2019, at Tuzla International Airport in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Photo By: Maryland Air National Guard Senior Airman Sarah M. McClanahan
VIRIN: 190911-Z-UY654-1210

Reform

The U.S. supported the creation of the Bosnian armed forces in 2005, which was the nation's first unified, ethnically-integrated force. In 2006, Bosnia-Herzegovina began a program of defense reforms and joined the NATO Partnership for Peace. Since then, the country has increased its cooperation with the U.S., allies and partners. 

Dressed in blue uniforms, members of the Bosnia-Herzegovina military stand in formation.
Bosnia-Herzegovina Honor Guard
An honor guard performs ceremonial drills during the 13th Bosnia-Herzegovina armed forces celebration in the capital city of Sarajevo, Nov. 30, 2018. The celebration reflects the 2005 unification of the Bosniak-Croat Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serbs' Army of Republika Srpska into one entity- – the Bosnia-Herzegovina armed forces.
Photo By: Army Maj. Kurt M. Rauschenberg
VIRIN: 181130-A-NZ947-1581

Cooperation

U.S.-Bosnian security cooperation programs build Bosnia's capacity to counter malign influence, terrorism and narcotics trafficking. Over the past four years, more than 275 Bosnian military personnel have studied or participated in exchanges in the U.S. as part of the Defense Department's International Military Education and Training Program. In 2003, the Bosnian military officially partnered with the Maryland National Guard through the State Partnership Program.

The U.S. also supports Bosnia's efforts to transition away from Soviet-era defense equipment through foreign military financing and the execution of nationally-funded foreign military sales.   

Three service members stand outside a rusty building.
Partner Training
Members of the Maryland Army National Guard’s 115th Military Police Battalion conduct a course on criminal investigation procedures on Sept. 6, 2019 with members of the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina at Rajlovac Barracks, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Service members from both countries came to the course with prior experience in careers related to military police work, and some had significant civilian law enforcement experience.
Photo By: Maryland Air National Guard Senior Airman Sarah M. McClanahan
VIRIN: 190905-Z-UY654-1017

Deployment

Bosnia-Herzegovina has deployed about 1,000 troops to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2005 and has 68 people deployed to support Afghan forces as part of the Resolute Support Mission.

The Maryland National Guard recently provided medical training to Bosnia's 6th Infantry Brigade, which will deploy to Afghanistan in December. Bosnia-Herzegovina also contributes to international peace support operations, including UN peacekeeping and EU training missions in Africa. 

A soldier kneels on the tarmac to take photos of a C-130H Hercules aircraft.
Capturing Hercules
Army Spc. Natalee Ebanks, combat documentation production specialist assigned to the Psychological Operations Battalion, photographs a C-130H Hercules aircraft as part of the Silver Arrow training event, Sept. 9, 2019, at Tuzla International Airport, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Silver Arrow is a European Command and Air Forces Europe sponsored training event that supports multinational interoperability and establishes a way ahead for introducing air coordination and a media information center element.
Photo By: Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina photo by Pfc. Armin Hadzic
VIRIN: 190909-Z-AB123-1001

Leadership

In 2020, Bosnia-Herzegovina will chair the U.S.-Adriatic Charter meeting. The charter is a regional association consisting of Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the U.S.

Bosnia-Herzegovina joined the charter in 2008, partnering with the participants to increase multilateral cooperation on regional security issues of mutual concern.