SC unit hands off command in Kosovo to the 525th BfSB
June 1, 2013
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - For the first time in nearly a decade, an active duty U.S. Army unit assumed command in Kosovo during a transfer of authority ceremony held at Camp Bondsteel, June 1.
The 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, stationed out of Fort Bragg, N.C., took command of Multinational Battle Group-East from the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, a National Guard unit based out of Charleston, S.C.
U.S. Army Col. Waymon B. Storey III, a native of Plum Branch, S.C. and the commander of the 218th MEB, transferred authority of MNBG-E to U.S. Army Col. David J. Woods, a native of Denbo, Pa., and the commander of the 525th BfSB.
Storey congratulated his soldiers and commended them on a job well done.
"These men and women have served with distinction over the past nine months," Storey said. "They have remained committed to providing a safe and secure environment while also fostering relationships, which have helped set conditions for positive change in Kosovo."
The commander for Kosovo Forces, German Army Maj. Gen. Volker Halbauer, similarly praised the work of the 218th MEB for their efforts throughout the deployment.
"You have successfully completed all missions and thus decisively contributed to the overall accomplishments of KFOR, moving us all 'Forward Together'," said Halbauer.
Storey also reflected on the relationships that were built while in Kosovo and the lasting impact of their work.
"When we first assumed this mission, we pledged our commitment to provide security for all through cooperation with local communities, institutions in kind, and international organizations," Storey said.
"I pledged to you that my multinational team would be responsible and accountable to a vision we all share, which is a future of sustainable stability in Kosovo. Truly your success has been our success, and it is my sincere hope that we measured up to your expectations, for you deserved nothing less than our absolute best efforts."
In handing over responsibility of the battle group, Storey was positive the future of Kosovo would continue to improve with the 525th BfSB.
"I can say with confidence to all here that you will find an incredible partner in Col. Woods and his dynamic team," Storey said. "They stand before you prepared to assume this mission thanks to the hard work of their soldiers, the steadfast support of their families, and quality, realistic training and support provided by all national contingents represented in their formation."
Woods said it is an honor to be working with their multinational partners and he hopes to continue the great work of KFOR 16 in creating a better future for all those in Kosovo.
"I look forward to working with you, building a team and moving 'Forward Together' to ensure our mission here continues to progress and to assist the local people in bringing peace and stability to Kosovo," said Woods.
In his last remarks before handing over the reins of Multinational Battle Group-East, Storey closed with a one final message.
"It has been an honor to serve here with all of you during these past nine months of marked progress in the history of Kosovo," Storey said. "I greatly value the relationships we forged, and will miss them greatly. You all have our heartfelt wishes for continued success. Thank you, and Forward Together."