JRD-East changes hands for KFOR mission
May 28, 2013
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - Joint Readiness Detachment-East, made up of U.S. and international soldiers, changed hands May 26 from the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment of the South Carolina National Guard to the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade of Fort Bragg, N.C., as a part of their assumption of the Kosovo Forces mission.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Edward Cloyd, the outgoing JRD commander with 1st Battalion, 8th IR, spoke on the impact his unit had and the situational awareness they provided to the KFOR commander.
"Our success is not only that we ensured that we were involved in the mission and providing our unit with the advantage," Cloyd said, "but our success also to allow us to understand the situation in our area of operations."
German Army Maj. Gen. Volker Halbauer, the KFOR commander, spoke about the friendships he has built with the outgoing command, and his hopes for the incoming team.
U.S. Army Maj. Jonathan Hartsock, the incoming commander of JRD-East, said his soldiers have been adjusting well to the new mission focus that is found in KFOR.
"It's a different type of mission set," Hartsock, a Vinton, Va., native, said. "It's a peacekeeping operation. So instead of going out on the battlefield, we're mingling with the population, interacting with the leaders to make sure we have a good pulse on society and provide those reflections to the commander."
The JRD serves as the eyes and ears of the KFOR mission, meeting with local leaders and people living in Kosovo to see how the mission affects them. They are also in control of the liaison monitoring teams, who routinely meet with mayors, businessmen and other influential people in Kosovo.