Minister Pendeš, Deputy Minister Jusić, General Mašović, General Jerkić, General Knežević, officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for attending today’s ceremony. I am so happy to join you today to celebrate another advance for the AFBiH.
These twenty Humvees represent a tiny fraction of a percent of the number of Humvees used across the globe, but this small number tells a story of significance. It tells the story of a vehicle so popular that it can be seen in every corner of the globe. These twenty Humvees prove that Bosnia and Herzegovina is part a global community of modern military forces.
These twenty Humvees nearly double the number of Humvees in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Any unit using Humvees is immediately interoperable with any of the 12 NATO Allies that have Humvees in their inventories, including the United States. With their arrival, these Humvees represent the significant and growing level of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s partnership with NATO. NATO is not 29 armies, but one army from 29 countries united for common security.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s partnership with NATO means that Bosnia and Herzegovina can be part of that collective security. Should it accomplish the needed defense reforms, Bosnia and Herzegovina will have the strength of the entire Alliance behind it, and its people can feel more secure in their future.
The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina can feel more secure just knowing that these Humvees are here. If a disaster strikes and they find themselves cut off, they will know that the Armed Forces can use these Humvees to bring them food, water, and supplies. If they are hurt, the Armed Forces can get them to medical care. If they are trapped in the snow, the Armed Forces can get them out. The Armed Forces have always responded when the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina called on them. Now, they have better tools.
The United States is proud to support our NATO Partner, Bosnia and Herzegovina, through the modest donation that enabled the purchase of these Humvees. We look forward to delivering more Humvees and other equipment in the coming years, and I look forward to seeing these Humvees in action soon.