Virginia Nationwide Guard’s 116th IBCT HQ Ends Kosovo Mission | Article

Troopers of the 76th Infantry Brigade Fight Crew, Job Drive Nighthawk, coaching throughout KFOR 31 on Oct. 3, 2022. KFOR 31 is a multinational coaching occasion performed to organize items for his or her deployment to the Kosovo Regional Command East. (U.S. Army images by Workers Sgt. Anna Pongo)
(Photograph Credit score: Workers Sgt. Anna Pongo)


CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – The Virginia Nationwide Guard’s 116th Infantry Brigade Fight Crew Headquarters ended its mission as Job Drive Saint Lo and the mission command headquarters for NATO Kosovo Drive Regional Command-East Nov. 2.

Throughout a switch of authority ceremony with the Indiana Nationwide Guard’s 76th Infantry Brigade Fight Crew, the 116th IBCT cased its unit colours, signifying the tip of its nine-month mission. The 76th IBCT, mobilized as Job Drive Nighthawk, then unfurled its unit’s colours, starting its help of KFOR’s mission. The 116th’s rotation was the thirtieth of U.S. navy forces primarily based at Camp Bondsteel.

NATO KFOR troops conduct peace help operations contributing to a secure and safe atmosphere for all individuals in Kosovo whereas political dialogue continues between Kosovo and Serbia.

The KFOR commander, Maj. Gen. Angelo Ristuccia, thanked Col. Christopher Samulski, outgoing RC-E commander, for his dedication and obligation to KFOR.

“Your actions and contributions have been invaluable and could have lasting impacts for years to come back,” stated Ristuccia.

Samulski spoke concerning the friendships members of the 116th IBCT had shaped throughout their time in Kosovo and the way their mixed efforts had laid the muse for future successes.

“To our companions, it was our pleasure to work with a number of the best troopers from throughout Europe,” Samulski stated.

Because the multinational brigade assigned to Regional Command – East, Job Drive Saint Lo commanded greater than 1,000 personnel from 10 nations to keep up a secure and safe atmosphere and freedom of motion all through Kosovo. The leaders and workers deliberate and executed three named operations to lower tensions associated to Serbian elections, license plate reciprocity, and securing vitality infrastructure.

The brigade additionally labored with the Serbian armed forces to make sure all events complied with U.N. Safety Council Decision 1244 of 1999 and the Navy Technical Settlement. The main target of RC-East was to resolve tensions within the Balkans by means of political dialogue centered on normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

They deliberate and took part in multinational coaching occasions with the German contingencies to earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge and Schützenschnur and with the Danish contingencies to take part within the DANCON march. Additionally they hosted the U.S. marksmanship badges for 2 NATO nations.

Senior leaders took half in additional than 70 engagements with the Kosovo Police, native mayors and Serbian armed forces. The Civil-Navy Cooperation part executed 10 initiatives valued at greater than 70,000 euros.

Lt. Col. Chris Mabis, the incoming RC-East commander, thanked Samulski and his group for his or her help in coaching as Job Drive Nighthawk readied for RC-East command.

“We’ve spent almost a 12 months making ready for this mission, and I recognize the time you [Samulski] and your Troopers and leaders spent serving to us put together,” stated Mabis. “I’m assured that we’re able to assume the Regional Command-East mission for KFOR 31.”

The VNG’s 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, served because the aviation activity drive for RC-E, offering medical casualty transportation and air mobility for all KFOR troops. They accomplished their switch of authority Oct. 11.

Different items serving in RC-E included a maneuver battalion able to quickly deploying all through their space of duty and an results battalion sustaining situational consciousness with native authorities and non-government organizations for monitoring and figuring out safety, socioeconomic and political conditions.

The maneuver battalion was led by the Kentucky Nationwide Guard’s 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, and included firms from Poland, Turkey and Latvia. The 1-149th additionally led the consequences battalion and included troops from Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Hungary and Slovenia. They ended their mission Oct. 29.

The maneuver battalion performed greater than 2,700 impartial patrols alongside the executive boundary line with Serbia, greater than 170 patrols with the Kosovo Border and Boundary Police, and greater than 230 synchronized patrols with Serbian Armed Forces.

Extra reporting by Sgt. 1st Class Herschel Talley

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