CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – NATO’s mission in Kosovo plays a unique role in the stability of the region. Not only does Kosovo Force provide a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all, but they also monitor events within communities while obtaining a better understanding of the population’s issues through specialized teams.
These teams, called Liaison Monitoring Teams, or LMT for short, operate almost daily within the communities they serve in order to provide KFOR senior leaders an understanding of how the people of Kosovo are doing while putting a face to the mission.
“The mission of the LMTs in Kosovo is to go out into the community and feel the pulse, gather atmospherics, see how the people are doing, in order to provide early warning of indicators to threats of a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement,” said U.S. Army Maj. Ryan Hubbs, KFOR’s Regional Command East Non-Kinetic Effects Battalion chief of staff.
In RC-East, there are multiple LMTs from seven partner nations focusing on three main areas of responsibility, AOR North, AOR Central, and AOR South. Each LMT is broken down into three sub teams, an Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie teams, typically consisting of three service members.
“Those sub teams are normally led by a staff sergeant or sergeant who will go out into the community and make those relationships with various leaders and locals,” Hubbs said. “We focus on all of Kosovo because within different pockets, you’re going to have different problems or different issues that could arise.”
While interacting with the community, LMTs will engage in what’s known as soldier-level engagements, where they meet with local leaders, school officials, religious leaders, business owners, and others to develop relationships and build a better understanding of the issues facing those communities.
“The LMTs are the first people that each of the citizens meet,” Hubbs said. “They are the face of Kosovo, if you will. And they are also the eyes and ears of Kosovo for the commander of (KFOR) and the (RC-East) commander.”
Most LMT members are service members with multiple varying specialties, including infantry, armor, medical, communications, and others. Though they’ve all come together to conduct a mission as unique as the areas in which they operate.
“To become an LMT, we’re looking for a specific type of person; somebody who is outgoing, somebody who is very easy to talk to who has the gift of gab and can facilitate conversations easily and naturally,” Hubbs said. “It’s not a specific rank. It’s not a specific (military specialty). It’s a personality type. Somebody who you want to be the face of an organization.”
For those serving as LMTs, their experiences interacting with the people of Kosovo can be one of the most rewarding of their careers. For some, service members from various countries have served in Kosovo as LMT members multiple times
“LMT’s have the best job in all of Kosovo,” Hubbs exclaimed. “We are the first thing that everybody sees. We’re the most utilized asset that will drive the most kilometers and spend the most hours outside the base. It’s really a great, fun mission.”