Wednesday January 11, 2012
What is it?
More than 5,900 troops from the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), provided by 30 countries (22 NATO and eight non-NATO), remain deployed in Kosovo to help maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all citizens regardless of their ethnic origin. The U.S. Army comprises approximately 13 percent of the forces and funds the operation via U.S. Army Europe Title 10.
What has the Army done?
The Army has been at the core of KFOR since its deployment in the wake of the allied air campaign in June 1999. KFOR initially provided a deterrent to renewed hostility and threats against Kosovo by Serbia and Yugoslav forces. It established a secure environment and ensured public safety and order, demilitarized the Kosovo Liberation Army, supported the international humanitarian effort, and coordinated with and supported the international civil presence.
Recently tensions between Serbia and Kosovo have escalated at several administrative boundary line crossings. U.S. and other KFOR forces acted swiftly to keep the situations under control. U.S. forces in Kosovo requested, and were granted, additional aviation assets, provided by U.S. Army Europe, to help further calm the situation.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The U.S. Army will continue to play an essential role, alongside the multinational forces that make up KFOR, in providing safety and security for people in Kosovo. Soldiers will continue to interact with the local populace in various efforts to assist in bringing about long term stability and promote goodwill. Such interactions are not limited to civilians, but also extend to the Kosovo Security Force (KSF). Over the last year, U.S. led Multinational Battle Group East, has worked with the KSF on building up, strengthening and training their noncommissioned officers core. This mission will continue under the direction of the Iowa National Guard through their State Partnership Program with Kosovo.
Why is this important to the Army?
The U.S. has a vital interest in ensuring the long-term peace and stability in the Balkans region. The Army will continue to play a role in shaping the environment until peace and stability are achieved. Through operational deployments like KFOR, our forces improve their tactics, techniques, and procedures as part of a multi-national force. Additionally, enduring projects and services that our rotational forces provide to the communities and citizens of Kosovo increase goodwill and promote stability in the region.
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