CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo— Situated across from the director of the Kishnica facility of Trepca mines, one of the largest mineral processing facilities in Europe, 1st Lt. Parker Mooney leans in and listens intently, Sept. 18, 2020 in Kishnicë/ Kižnica Kosovo.Mooney’s posture denotes an investment in understanding the intricacies of the Kosovo Force mission that he displays with all of the Kosovo residents he engages as the Liaison Monitoring Team commander for “K18”.Mooney and his team of 10 Liaison Monitoring Team Soldiers have applied a more strategic approach to their area of operations by focusing on government inefficiencies, economic growth and agriculture.“I feel pretty validated in our team having a deeper interest in those issues because we have a more detailed picture of some of these problems and are able to understand the processes and how these municipality projects are done, how business are formed and some of the road blocks,” said Mooney, an Infantry officer organic to the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon Army National Guard.“While they may not be things that we can directly change, what we can do is highlight areas of friction in these processes and focus on that.”As a double major in International studies and Russian from Ohio Stat University, Mooney credits his eclectic major in helping him and his team gain an intricate understanding of the political, economic and sociological issues in their areas of operation.“I volunteered to be a LMT when I heard about this mission and it sounded kind of cool talking to people and understanding issues going on in a foreign country,” said Mooney.During train-up for the mission in Texas, Mooney challenged his team with knowledge scavenger hunts and shared his background on some of the topics that the team would encounter.“The team is from a Forward Support Company made up of mechanics, cooks and drivers, so factors of instability and economic development are not necessarily on their mind,” said Mooney.“They’ve done an exceptionally well job and rose to the challenge even during the global pandemic. I try to decentralize things and empower the team leaders to figure things out on their own.”Mooney said that he too has been empowered by the KFOR mission and plans to extend his mission and stay for the 28th rotation of the U.S.-led KFOR Regional Command East mission.KFOR continues to contribute towards maintaining a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and freedom of movement for all.NATO has been leading a peace-support operation in Kosovo – the Kosovo Force (KFOR) – since June 1999. The operation derives its mandate from United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.Working with multi-national partners has been a very rewarding and unique experience, he added.“I have really enjoyed Kosovo to include its scenery, the people I have gotten the opportunity to meet and the general indescribable atmospherics,” said Mooney.“I very vividly remember making the decision to stay; I was out on a run, admiring the views of the mountains from Bondsteel and thought this is exactly the kind of job I want right now and if I had the opportunity to stay I'd be crazy not to take it.”