In 1996, Austrian forces joined those of NATO Allies in securing the peace negotiated in the Dayton agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country contributed a battalion to the NATO-led peacekeeping forces there until 2001. Austria is currently contributing a mechanized company and support units to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR), amounting to over 400 troops. Austria took command of KFOR’s Multinational Task Force South (MNTF-S) in early 2008.
Austrian forces joined the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2002, providing expertise and logistical support. Throughout 2005, Austria deployed troops to work alongside the German-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kunduz province to provide security for the Afghan parliamentary elections.
Austria has made a number of units available for potential PfP operations. In each case, deployment must be authorized by the Austrian Council of Ministers and approved by the Main Committee of the Austrian Parliament.
Defence and security sector reform
Participating in peacekeeping and peace support operations alongside NATO Allies has reinforced Austria’s own process of military transformation. The PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) influences and reinforces Austrian planning activities. Through PARP, Austria has declared an increasing number of forces and capabilities as potentially available for NATO-led operations. Austria’s ability to take part in peace support operations is further enhanced by its participation in the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) process.
The Allies and other partners also benefit from Austrian expertise. The country is contributing to NATO’s programme of support for security-sector reform activities, with a special emphasis on the Balkan region.
Austria has contributed to Trust Fund projects in other Partner countries. Along with individual Allies and Partners, Austria has made contributions to voluntary trust funds to support, for example, the destruction of mines and/or munitions in Albania, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine.
Civil emergency planning
Civil emergency planning is a major area of cooperation. The aim is for Austria to be able to cooperate with NATO Allies in providing mutual support in dealing with the consequences of major accidents or disasters in the Euro-Atlantic area. This could include dealing with the consequences of incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents, as well as humanitarian disaster relief operations.
Science and environment
Under the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Austria have participated in numerous advanced research workshops and seminars on a range of topics. Since 2005, Austrian personnel have participated in over 20 activities. Topics have included preparedness against bio-terrorism, strengthening influenza pandemic preparedness and emerging biological threats.
In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Austria is the embassy of Croatia.