Oct. 11, 2006

KFOR 8 conducts departure ceremony

By Maj. Cotton Puryear
KFOR 8 Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., the adjutant general of Virginia, talks with Virginia Soldiers assigned to KFOR 8 after their departure ceremony at Camp Atterbury, Ind. on Oct. 8. Soldiers from KFOR 8 spent weeks conducting mobilization training at Camp Atterbury and will head to Germany in mid-October for a final training exercise before heading to Kosovo to begin peace-enforcement operations in the province. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, KFOR 8 Public Affairs)

CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind., - After successfully completing weeks of mobilization training, Soldiers from Kosovo Force 8 (KFOR 8) marked another milestone in their journey to Kosovo with a departure ceremony on Oct. 8 at Camp Atterbury, Ind.
 
KFOR 8 is a brigade-sized task force that will conduct peace-enforcement operations in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led Kosovo Force that has been in the province since 1999. Five multinational brigade-sized task forces make up the KFOR, and KFOR 8 will be assuming authority for the Multinational Task Force (East) area of operations.
 
“I couldn’t be prouder of the men and women that stand before you today,” said Brig. Gen. Douglas B. Earhart, the commander of MNTF (E) for the KFOR 8 rotation. “While we came here from different places and different components of the US Army, we leave here united under the flag of the historic 29th Infantry Division. Our success here at Camp Atterbury is a testimony to the hard works of the Soldiers in this task force and the officers and noncommissioned officers that lead them. Each one of you should feel a great sense of accomplishment for what you have done here.”
 
KFOR 8 is made up primarily of United States National Guard units from 22 states and Puerto Rico, as well as units from the active component of the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. The United States is the lead nation for the rotation, and the contributing nations are Armenia, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.
 
“We owe a debt of gratitude to our communities and employers for their support of our mission, but our greatest thanks must go to the families of our Soldiers,” Earhart said. “Without the support and sacrifices of our families back home, we would not be able to prepare for and conduct our mission.”
 
Soldiers from KFOR 8 have been training at Camp Atterbury since early August and will deploy to Germany in mid-October for a final training exercise before heading to Kosovo.
 
“It was an honor to sign the validation letter for this unit,” said Maj. Gen. John A. Yingling, deputing commanding general, First United States Army. “They are ready to assume the duties of this mission. They are competent and confident, and I know they will successfully complete their mission of giving the people of Kosovo a chance to work and live in peace.”
 
For more information about the KFOR 8 operation in Kosovo, visit www.KFOR8.com.
 
Additional Facts about KFOR 8:
 
MNTF (E) operates under the flag of the Army National Guard’s 29th Infantry Division and is part of a larger NATO-led international force known as the Kosovo Force (KFOR). KFOR is a responsible for establishing and maintaining security in Kosovo. The organization entered Kosovo on June 12, 1999 under a United Nations mandate, two days after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. KFOR troops come from 35 NATO and non-NATO nations.
 
The United States contingent of MNTF (E) is made up of approximately 1,500 personnel. The National Guard of Virginia and Massachusetts provide almost two thirds of those Soldiers, while other National Guard Soldiers from 22 different states and Puerto Rico provide the additional personnel. Men and women from California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia will be deploying as part of the task force.
 
The task force is made up of one infantry battalion, one cavalry squadron and one aviation task force, but will also have medical support, military police, explosive ordnance disposal, civil affairs, psychological operations and military intelligence.
 
Below is a list of the primary geographic concentrations and numbers of Soldiers for KFOR 8:
 
Location                                                                                           Approximate # of Soldiers
Laurel, Maryland.................................................................................................70
Whitinsiville, Massachusetts.................................................................................125
Melrose, Massachusetts......................................................................................150
Middleboro, Massachusetts.................................................................................100
Feeding Hills, Massachusetts................................................................................100
Grand Rapids, Michigan.......................................................................................20
Jackson, Mississippi.............................................................................................25
North Canton, Ohio.............................................................................................100
San Juan, Puerto Rico..........................................................................................50
Nashville, Tennessee............................................................................................30
Fort Belvoir, Virginia............................................................................................125
Lynchburg-Roanoke, Virginia...............................................................................350
Camp Dawson, West Virginia...............................................................................25
Madison, Wisconsin.............................................................................................100

 

 

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