European Union Force (EUFOR BiH)
- 2 December 2004 - 28 February 2017
- Military personnel
On 28 June 2004 NATO decided to withdraw most of SFOR from Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of 2004. The European Union (EU) declared on 12 July 2004 that it would continue the NATO operation as an EU mission called Operation Althea.
The military staff of the EU decided to divide Bosnia into 3 zones. The multinational task forces (MNTFs) operated in these zones. The task forces consisted of an infantry battalion, a Liaison and Observation Team (LOT) and an Integrated Police Unit (IPU).The Netherlands also took part in EUFOR Althea. The Dutch military personnel were deployed in MNTF Northwest’s area of responsibility.
The task of the LOTs was to obtain as much information as possible about issues like employment, healthcare, crime and possession of weapons. In addition, the teams organised weapon collection operations. They then reported their findings to the Regional Coordination Centre (RCC). The LOTs were therefore the eyes and ears of the EUFOR commanders.
In 2007, the number of military personnel was reduced and the RCCs were reorganised. The total number of EUFOR service members decreased from 7.000 to approximately 2.500. The Netherlands was given command of RCC-1 as a result of the reorganisation process. 3 other countries also operated within this centre.
In 2010, the principal focus of the mission shifted from peacekeeping to capacity building and training the Bosnian army. The Netherlands contributed first 5 and later 3 service members to the training of Bosnian armed forces personnel.