HOHENFELS, Germany- On Nov. 2, 2020, Iowa Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Kristina Seidel stepped out of a vehicle on a rare sunny day in Hohenfels, Germany. Seidel and her team had arrived at a mock village constructed in the wooded training area at the Joint Multinational Readiness Training Center, which is modeled after a town in Kosovo. Small shop fronts sporting leftover Halloween decorations and worn furniture lined the main street and upbeat music played from a notional bar decorated with colored lights.Seidel, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist from Fort Madison, Iowa, is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 1-113th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, and her team’s mission that day was to meet with the town’s mayor and gauge the status of the community. The mayor was one of many civilian role players JMRC uses to provide realistic training scenarios. This rotation was tailored to prepare the 1-113th for its mobilization to NATO’s Kosovo Force 28 in support of Operation Joint Guardian. KFOR 28 is a multi-national organization dedicated to the safety and security of all people in Kosovo.“It was successful,” said Seidel. “The mayor told us the issues she was having and we explained we would take the information back to our leadership to see how we could advise them.”While Seidel talked to the mayor and other role-playing citizens of the town through an interpreter, one of her Soldiers took diligent notes. Each of them paid full attention to the people confiding in them with various personal problems, such as unemployment.As a liaison monitoring team, it will be their responsibility to feel the pulse of the communities assigned to them in Kosovo and guide people, no matter their background, to appropriate resources to improve their quality of life.“They want to make sure we’re neutral,” said Seidel. “We assured them we are. This is my first deployment, and I’m excited to be in a new area, to see things from a new perspective.”Although the mission was successful, Seidel said it was a great reminder for her team to always be aware of what’s going on in the communities so they’re prepared to respond with the right advice.“I think it’s a good thing that we’re here to help others obtain the best life they can have, and advise them on what they can do to grow as a community,” said Seidel.