Successful Critical Passenger (PAX) Air Transportation Services

03 July 2013

On 26 June 2013, with ONLY one day prior notice, the Special Transportation Section and Procurement Team of the Transportation and Warehousing Division (LS) successfully contracted two charter flights on behalf of the Austrian MoD to repatriate its peacekeepers from the UN monitoring force on the Golan Heights to Vienna.

A total of 187 AUT soldiers plus 2 dogs were on the two first flights.  An additional flight is foreseen in early July 2013.

The Golan Heights is a rocky plateau at the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, and straddles the borders of Syria and Israel. Israel currently holds about two-thirds of the territory, which it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981, while Syria holds the remaining one-third.

The UN was called upon in 1974 to create a mission, known as the United Nations Disengagement Observation Force (UNDOF), to supervise the ceasefire plan and to monitor the situation afterwards.  No military presence is allowed other than UN observers.

Austrians accounted for about 380 of the 1,000-strong UN force monitoring this ceasefire between Syria and Israel.