Salzburg, 15. June 2012 Press release

Waldner: Salzburg – Austrian military engineer corps does a great job protecting civilians at home and abroad

Salzburg, 15 June 2012 – The military engineer corps of the Austrian Federal Army – the “sappers” – are known for their immediate response and unbureaucratic deployment in disasters. But they also provide life-saving support abroad. On his visit to Salzburg today, the State Secretary in the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Dr. Wolfgang Waldner accompanied by Salzburg Military Commander Brigadier Heinz Hufler, learned more about the important mission of the military engineers. The Commander of Engineer Battalion 2, Lieutenant Colonel Günter Gann, explained the structure and tasks of his unit.

Waldner visited the Bischofswald training centre for weapons defence weapons where the sappers demonstrated the handling and clearing of various mine and booby trap types. “These explosive devices are major challenges for our soldiers, especially on missions abroad, such as in Bosnia or Kosovo”, Waldner said. “I am impressed by the immense expertise and professionalism that the Salzburg sappers demonstrate in these dangerous tasks. I am proud that Austrian soldiers use their proficiency to secure peace and prevent further suffering of innocent civilians in war zones. The Foreign Ministry will certainly  continue its support of this commitment in future in the best possible manner”, Waldner said.

“The protection of civilians in armed conflicts and advancing the cause of humanitarian international law are core issues of Austria’s foreign policy. Our leading initiatives in this issue and our commitment to the signing and ratification of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and the Convention on Cluster Munitions are internationally accepted”, the State Secretary concluded.

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