The British Army first entered the former Republic of Yugoslavia as part of a United Nations force to deliver humanitarian aid during the Bosnian conflict. This force was known as the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR).
Once the conflict neared resolution in 1995 it became clear that an intermediary force would be needed to implement the peace agreement that was signed at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
The UK has been the lead nation in Multi-National Task Force (North West) where it has worked with ten partner nations. Based in Banja Luka, the UK contributed around 600 troops who provided the core of the Task Force HQ, two companies of the multinational manoeuvre battalion and a large proportion of the administrative and logistic support.
Over recent years UK troops in Bosnia have been engaged in numerous operations to recover illegally held weapons, ammunition and explosives, as well as assisting the local authorities combat organised crime. These latter operations have seen the confidence and capacity of the local authorities improve significantly. As such, much of the responsibility for security has been transferred to indigenous agencies.
More than 600 troops, principally from the Welsh Guards, returned to the UK in 2008 ending more than 15 years of continuous UK military presence in the country, though a small number of staff officers remain at the EU's military headquarters in the capital Sarajevo.
Between the March and September 2009 the 167 UK personnel serving in Kosovo were reduced to a small number of posts, reflecting the significant progress made during that time in reinforcing stability and the changing requirements of the NATO force in Kosovo (KFOR).