January 2003





Click on thumbnail to enlarge SSARAJEVO: In January 2003, SFOR completed the process of restructuring into a smaller but more robust and operationally agile force centered on ten battle groups of around 750 soldiers each. The restructured force is forward-based and focused on potential trouble spots identified by past experience and careful analysis of the current situation. COMSFOR has the authority to employ all forces under his Command across Multinational Brigade (MNB) boundaries. HQ SFOR in Sarajevo has also undergone a small reduction in personnel. SFOR now numbers some 12,000 troops from more than 30 nations.

SFOR commitment

The Stabilisation Force (SFOR) will deter hostilities, stabilise the peace and contribute to a 'safe and secure environment', by providing a continued military presence in the Area of Responsibility. SFOR will also target and co-ordinate its support to key areas and primary civil implementation organisations, as well as progressing towards a lasting consolidation of peace, without further need for NATO-led forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
The SFOR mandate has not changed and the force continues to do everything necessary to help maintain a 'safe and secure environment', as laid out in the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP).
SFOR closely supports the civilian implementation of the establishment of joint institutions. It also helps promote media reform and works to ensure fair elections. Commander SFOR (COMSFOR) now has a numerically smaller but more robust and agile force in his Command. There is also a tried and tested capability to bring Strategic Reserve Forces into the Country very quickly in the event that they are needed.
The new structure is made up of 10 Battle Groups, with MNB Headquarters exercising direct Command and Control over their subordinate units. COMSFOR has the authority to task all forces under his Command across Multi-National Brigade boundaries, allowing for a quick response throughout the whole country. It also means a greater emphasis on intelligence to anticipate and detect any threat.
The Brigade Headquarters are in Mostar (MNB-SE), Tuzla (MNB-N) and Banja Luka (MNB-NW).

Components of each Battle Group

SFOR Eegineers inspect Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)

• Command & Control
• Reconnaissance
• Infantry
• Logistics
• Military Police
• Medical
• Transport
• Engineers
• Around 750 troops

Bottom line

SFOR has been restructured into a smaller but more capable force. The restructuring in no way diminishes NATO's and the International Community's absolute commitment to building a lasting peace in BiH.