A routine EUFOR MEDEVAC training exercise took place on the morning of Friday 8 February 2013 and, as part of the exercise, conducted a winch lowering of the senior doctor within the Austrian Contingent, Major MD Stefan Schachner on to a site close to SOS Kinderdorf. Clearly visible during the descent was a gift wrapped cheque for BAM 6,100 which was presented to the assembled children and SOS Kinderforf’s Director, Mr Damir Mahmić.

The money had been raised by the EUFOR Austrian medical team over the last 6 months through organised fund-raising events held at Camp Butmir which were supported by troops of all the contributing nations at EUFOR ALTHEA and NATO HQ Sarajevo.
Major Schachner commented: “The Austrian medical team were keen to raise funds for the local community and particularly children, as they are the future of any nation. We are always delighted to help in this way and there was great support from troops across EUFOR and NATO HQ for an organisation which is doing great work for children throughout BiH.”
The funds will be used to finance much-needed replacement windows for the family-style houses which provide a supporting home environment for the children cared for on the site.
“The sum raised is significant and will make a big difference to the replacement window project”, commented Mr Mahmić, “but what is also important to us is the opportunity to form a strong bond of friendship with the team at EUFOR.”
The MEDEVAC helicopter – an ALOUETTE III – arrived at the SOS KINDERDOFR site at 1100 on Fri 8 February 2013, following which a presentation took place involving both the children and staff from SOS Kinderdorf and the team of EUFOR fundraisers.
The Helicopter Commander, Lt Martin Fuetsch explained: “It is important to maintain operational readiness for medical evacuation services, particularly in time of severe snow in BiH. In order to do this we must conduct continuation training at least 3 times per week. Today’s event was doubly successful as we were able to incorporate an imaginative means of delivery of the EUFOR fund raising cheque within one of our routine MEDEVAC training exercises. The entire crew were delighted that this provided some fun and excitement for local children.”
The children who witnessed the helicopter landing came from SOS KINDERDORF and from nearby schools. Typical of the SOS KINDERDOFR children’s comments was a statement from Aldin, who said: “It was great to see the helicopter, which was so big and it was wonderful that it was able to come and visit us.”

Chief Press Officer:
Lt Col Otmar Lindner
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Lt Cdr Gareth Jones RN
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