Personnel from every EUFOR nation joined EUFOR Chief of Staff and dignitaries from the Slovak Republic for the solemn repatriation ceremony of Major Peter Pavlovský at Sarajevo International Airport on Friday 16 February.

Major Peter Pavlovský, who worked as a personnel and finance staff officer, was suddenly taken ill at Camp Butmir on Wednesday morning. Despite the efforts of EUFOR medical specialists and local hospital staff, he passed away that afternoon.

An aircraft from the Slovak Republic flew to Sarajevo International Airport for the repatriation on Friday morning. A short and moving final farewell ceremony took place at the airport attended by the Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic, Peter Gajdoš; the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, General Milan Maxim; and the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to BiH, Martin Kačo. They were joined by EU Special Representative Ambassador Wigemark; COS EUFOR Brigadier General Szpisják; Brigadier General Ahmić from the Armed Forces of BiH; Brigadier General Huston from NATO HQ Sarajevo; Assistant Minister Šajinović from MOD BiH; and military personnel from all 19 EUFOR nations and the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

EUFOR troops saluted Major Peter Pavlovský

EUFOR troops saluted Major Peter Pavlovský

During the brief ceremony, COS EUFOR posthumously awarded Major Peter Pavlovský the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy Medal 'Althea' in recognition of his service in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A trumpeter from the Band of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina played the final solemn musical tribute to Major Pavlovský. In a statement, COS EUFOR encapsulated the mood of everyone at EUFOR: "Our thoughts are with the loved ones he leaves behind."

Photo gallery...