CAMP NOVO SELO, Kosovo - Soldiers from the Latvian Contingent performed a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Novo Selo, Kosovo, Aug. 2, 2022. The ceremony was attended by Kosovo Force’s Regional Command East senior staff as well as command staff from the RC-E Maneuver Battalion.
The ceremony began with remarks of congratulations, well wishes and farewell from the outgoing Latvian Contingent commander, Lt. Col. Martins Bucs. Additional comments were made by Lt. Col. Eddie Simpson, the deputy commander of the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and Lt. Col. Jason Mendez, the commander of RC-East’s Maneuver Battalion and the 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment “Mountain Warriors.”
Bucs remarked on the largely peaceful time he and his Soldiers experienced while in Kosovo and thanked Simpson and Mendez for their leadership and support during their time working together.
“We have been fortunate to be here during such a peaceful period,” Bucs said. “And I am thankful for the great leadership we have had from the Maneuver Battalion.”
Following their remarks, Bucs, Simpson and Mendez awarded medals to the Latvian Soldiers in attendance for their distinguished service during their time in Kosovo.
“This is an important day for the Maneuver Battalion, as we say farewell to one team and welcome another,” said Mendez in his address to the Latvian Soldiers. “(The Latvians) could always be counted upon. You have left your mark on not only this organization but on each of us who have served with you.”
The ceremony ended with the playing of the Latvian National Anthem and the symbolic lowering of the national flag, to be raised again by Capt. Janis Blazis, the contingent’s incoming commander.
The Latvian Contingent’s contributions to the security and stability of Kosovo are quantified through their daily patrols throughout northern and eastern Kosovo while standing ready to assist with maintaining the safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all in Kosovo as mandated by the United Nations Security Cooperation Resolution of 1999.