USAREUR Public Affairs
EAGLE BASE, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina — With the ancient military tradition of passing the guidon, the transfer of authority for Multinational Division (North) in Bosnia-Herzegovina shifted from Hawaii’s “Tropic Lightning” Division to Pennsylvania’s Keystone Division.
commander, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack, Jr. of the 25th
Infantry Division (Light) passed both the flag and responsibility for the
northern sector of the Stabilization Force to Brig. Gen. John T. von Trott
of the 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Pennsylvania National
For the past six months SFOR 11 soldiers made significant contributions in
maintaining a safe and secure environment in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2,400 displaced families in MND (N) returned to their pre-war homes,
signifying an increase of more than 30 percent from the previous year. An
additional 300,000 square meters of land were cleared of mines, doubling
last year’s total. Because of SFOR 11 support, the Armed Forces of BiH
initiated great strides in reducing weapons storage sites from 49 to 32, and
improving safety in the remaining sites. Active Harvest, a periodic weapons
collection program, disarmed the equivalent of an entire division by 25th
ID staff estimates.
“The men and women who took on this job were part of an extraordinary mission, and I’m proud to have been one of them. I’m proud of the team we assembled and all that you accomplished,” said Swannack, paying tribute to his charges before handing over responsibilities to his successor. The magnitude of the responsibility was not lost on von Trott, who now leads an international contingent to continue the progress initiated by his predecessors.
“The actions we take today need to always be considered in the context of history. The soldiers of SFOR 12 are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to that historic process – the Dayton process- -- which ultimately leads to peace and security for all the people of this beautiful country,” he said.
at the remarkable international cooperation represented in this command. It
is a true multi-national command, a team of both military and civilian
personnel brought together for the sole purpose of supporting the Dayton
Accords and furthering the cause of peace in this part of the world,” added
von Trott. “It is my intent to continue the productive work and fruitful
initiatives so ably advanced by SFOR 11.”
Armored Division was the first National Guard element to command MND (N) for
SFOR 7, followed by the 29th Infantry Division (SFOR 10). Those
headquarters oversaw two Active Component maneuver elements, which have been
replaced entirely ground forces of the National Guard. This includes Task
Force Blue Steel (1-109th Infantry) from Scranton, Pa., and Task
Force Saber (1-104th Cavalry) from Philadelphia. Both units
originate from the Pennsylvania National Guard.