On 20 August 2019, Commander EUFOR, Major General Reinhard Trischak, handed over the colours of the Multinational Battalion (MNBN) from Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Sanz to Lieutenant Colonel Manfred Leitner. The new commanding officer of EUFOR’s primary operational arm, the MNBN, has previously served in Kosovo and Chad. He takes over a united, cohesive and very capable military unit from Lieutenant Colonel Sanz, operating under the motto “One Mission, One Team”, committed to the multinational culture, values and spirit of EUFOR Operation Althea.
“EUFOR’s presence enhances the feeling of security among the local population. We must remain an overt, visible and tangible representation on behalf of the European Union to assure and reassure the citizens of BiH that we care about their security. Your commitment and that of the MNBN to getting things done and getting things right exemplifies what we are about”, Major General Trischak expressed his acknowledgment of Lieutenant Colonel Sanz’s fine leadership.
The outgoing Battalion Commander took the opportunity to address his soldiers:
“I thank you for your loyalty, willingness and comradeship. It was an honour for me to be your commander for the last six months. You have achieved the mission and executed all given tasks without incidents.”
Following the transfer of authority, Commander EUFOR, Major General Trischak, decorated Lieutenant Colonel Sanz with the Operation Althea Service Medal. Over 100 soldiers of the MNBN received their medals this day together with their outgoing commanding officer.
The new MNBN commander looked to the future with confidence:
“Together, standing side by side, we will be able to meet the challenges that lie ahead and fulfil our mission for EUFOR.”
The Multinational Battalion consists of troops from Austria, Hungary and Turkey and will again have a leading role during this year’s Exercise Quick Response in autumn 2019. EUFOR’s MNBN will then be augmented by elements of the reserve forces and cooperate closely with BiH local authorities to practice required skills for large scale peace support operations.