Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina at citizens’ service
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In late August, members of Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in extinguishing fires in Livno and Bileća. Using helicopters, they prevented the spreading of fires and played a crucial role in their extinguishing.
Air Force of the Armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina presented a significant addition to poorly equipped fire fighters, and, acting swiftly, prevented the spreading of fires, thereby reducing damage.
The extinguishing of the fires took place on the 27 and 28 August in the region of Livno and Tomislavgrad. An Air Force helicopter, known as Mil Mi-8 MTV-1 or “Hip,” took off from Rajlovac Heliport in Sarajevo. The total duration of flying was 11 hours and 40 minutes, and 122 tons of water was dropped from the bucket, before the fires were successfully extinguished.
On 30 and 31 August, the Army participated in extinguishing fires in the region of Bileća, on the mountain of Viduša. Helicopter Mi-8 MTV-1 that took off in Rajlovac flew for four and half hours in total and dropped 18 tons of water, before extinguishing the fire.
BiH pilots of Mi-8 transport helicopters learnt how to use firefighting buckets in extinguishing fires when they were members of the former Yugoslav Air Force and Air Defense (JRV i PVO). After the war and the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they have transferred their knowledge to new generations of pilots, training, among other, at special exercises in Croatia. To extinguish fires, these military helicopters are equipped with Flory firefighting buckets produced by a BiH company called Soko from Mostar, which have the capacity of around two to two and a half tons of water.
In the Law on Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chapter V – Natural and other disasters and accidents, Article 44 states that minister of defense, empowered by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, can engage Armed Forces in case of natural and other disasters, upon request of civil bodies at state and entity levels, on which he/she informs the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina states that this procedure was followed in both above mentioned cases.
Photo: A. I.