CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo --The commander of the Kansas National Guard took time recently to personally thank his state's Citizen-Soldiers, who are here beginning an important NATO peace-keeping mission.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Tod M. Bunting, Kansas National Guard adjutant general, recently spent two days in Kosovo, visiting troops from the Sunflower State and holding meetings with leaders of Multi-National Task Force-East (MNTF-E), part of NATO's KFOR 12 (Kosovo Forces) peace operations in Kosovo.

The general was an honored guest of the 231st Maneuver Task Force, which has about 20 Kansas and Missouri Soldiers from the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion/137th Infantry, based in Kansas City. The Kansas/Missouri Soldiers and members of the North Dakota-based 231st have come together seamlessly to form one unit, working with Kosovo people and institutions to maintain safety, security and freedom of movement.

Maj. Gen. Bunting ate meals with the Kansas-based Soldiers, along with Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann, commander of MNTF-E; and Lt. Col. Lee Nordin and Command Sgt. Maj. Joel Walsvik, respectively, commander and senior enlisted leader of the 231st.

Command Sgt. Maj. Scott W. Haworth, currently Kansas National Guard senior enlisted adviser; Chap. (Col.) Donald F. Davidson, Kansas state chaplain; and Chap. (1st. Lt.) Brock A. Sailer, 231st chaplain; also joined the generals for meals with the troops.

"They are disciplined, well focused and have great leadership," Maj. Gen. Bunting said. "From what I have seen over the last few days, the Soldiers here understand their task and are performing well."

Also, during his stay in Kosovo, Maj. Gen. Bunting toured areas around Camp Bondsteel, the main U.S. KFOR base, including a stop in the city of Gjilan/Gnjilan, where he met up with Capt. Darren L. Koberlein, commander of the Kansas force here in Kosovo.

Maj. Gen. Bunting became the adjutant general of Kansas on Jan. 5, 2004. As adjutant general, he oversees the activities of the Adjutant General's Department, including providing personnel administration and training guidance for more than 7,700 Soldiers and Airmen in the Kansas Army and Air National Guard.

Also, as the director of Kansas Emergency Management, a division of the AG Department, he guides a small professional corps that prepares for and responds to disasters.

"The Soldiers from Kansas and all the Soldiers serving in Kosovo are performing their mission to the highest degree. It is my pleasure to lead this disciplined and well-trained team," said Brig. Gen. Dohrmann.

Soldiers of MNTF-E began their mission in Kosovo on Nov. 14, after about two months of training in Indiana and Germany.
Multi-National Task Force - East is a U.S. led task force commanded by Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann. This task force is comprised of nearly 2,200 Soldiers, including Task Force Hellas and Task Force POL/UKR (Polish/Ukraine). The charter mission of MNTF-E is maintaining a Safe and Secure Environment and providing Freedom of Movement for the people in Kosovo.

Please contact the MNTF-E Public Affairs office for media engagements or to follow-up on this information.