As a result of the Strategic Review conducted by the EU in 2017, the EU-led military Operation ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has been refocused on its core task which is to support the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their efforts to maintain the safe and secure environment in the country. This is in line with the UN Security Council mandate and the General Framework Agreement for Peace which brought about the cessation of war in BiH in 1995. As an integral part of the EU presence in BiH, Operation Althea supports the overall EU strategy for BiH.
ALTHEA was launched in 2004 and now counts an EU Force of more than 600 troops in-theatre from 15 Member States and 5 partner countries, but able to call on significant reserves from EU and NATO countries. The Operation Headquarters of Operation Althea is in SHAPE. SHAPE Vice Chief of Staff (VCOS), Lieutenant General Brice Houdet, currently holds the operational command. He is supported by the European Union Staff Group and, as necessary, the staff drawn from across SHAPE, ensuring efficient provision of NATO's support to Operation Althea. Furthermore, the Berlin Plus Arrangements provide an EU Command Element, a small cell located in Naples within Allied Joint Force Command (JFC Naples), whose aim is to coordinate NATO-EU reserve forces and provide the Operation Commander with updates on the Western Balkans, setting Operation ALTHEA in the regional context. The Operation Commander works in close collaboration with the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Union Military Committee and the European Union Military Staff. The political control and strategic direction of the operation lies entirely with the EU's Political and Security Committee, under the responsibility of the Council of the EU.
In addition to the main objectives, Operation ALTHEA conducts verifications and inspections of ammunition and weapon storage sites, defence industry factories and maintains oversight on imports and exports of ordnance, munitions and military equipment. EUFOR also supports the local authorities in BiH by: monitoring and advising them on countermines activities; coordinating the disposal of ammunition, weapons and explosives and the establishment of a sustainable life cycle management of stockpiles including safe and secure storage sites, thereby contributing to the safety and security of the country as a whole. Operation ALTHEA also continues to support the Armed Forces of BiH through Collective and Combined training activities aimed at fulfilling BiH's intent to be a capability provider to the EU, NATO and UN's Peace Support Operations and Humanitarian aid missions around the world.
For more information, follow this link: http://www.euforbih.org/