CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – Army Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann, commander of Multinational Battle Group East (MNBG E), Kosovo Forces (KFOR) 12, held an informal meeting at Camp Bondsteel July 7 with media representatives from throughout Kosovo.
Dohrmann spoke of the work done by MNBG E and the progress that has been made during KFOR 12’s time in Kosovo. He also introduced his replacement to the media, Puerto Rican army Col. Francisco J. Neuman of the 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade from Puerto Rico. Neuman officially assumes command July 24, during the transfer of authority ceremony.
During the “press coffee” and final meeting with the Kosovo media, Dohrmann expressed his personal feelings regarding the transfer of MNBG E to KFOR 13.
“It is with mixed feelings that we prepare to hand over responsibility of the safe and secure environment and freedom of movement in Kosovo to Neuman and the able soldiers under his command,” said Dohrmann. “On one hand, it will be difficult to say goodbye to our friends and colleagues who remain here after we are gone. On the other hand, there is a great sense of excitement among our soldiers to return home and reunite with our families, as well as a sense of satisfaction over their efforts here in Kosovo and the significant progress we have seen first-hand.”
Dohrmann went on to discuss some of the activities that KFOR 12 soldiers have been involved in during their time in Kosovo.
“We have worked closely with the Kosovo Border and Boundary Police and FYROM (Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia) Border Police to improve security along the border, improve cooperation between Kosovo and FYROM and increase the capability of the Kosovo Border Police,” Dohrmann said. “We have worked extensively with the Kosovo Police in exercises and joint training events, including a joint field exercise in Gnjilane/Gjilan).”
Following Dohrmann’s opening remarks, Neuman took the opportunity to address the media for the first time since arriving in Kosovo earlier in the week.
Neuman said he is happy to come back to Kosovo and is looking forward to working with the people in Kosovo to help build a brighter future and lasting peace for future generations. This is Neuman’s third deployment to Kosovo as he was here in 2000 and again from 2006 to 2007.
In addition to addressing the media, Dohrmann and Capt. Dan Murphy, the public affairs officer for MNBG E, KFOR 12, presented plaques of appreciation to Driton Ramadani and Musa Sabedini, the press club secretaries from Ferizaj/Urosevac and Gnjilane/Gjilan,and to Ismet Hashani and Agim Gashi, the KP public affairs officers from Gnjilane/Gjilan and Ferizaj/Urosevac.
The meeting concluded with a lunch for the media representatives and KP public affairs officers who were in attendance.
Multinational Battle Group East is a U.S.- led unit, commanded by Dohrmann. This Battle Group is comprised of nearly 1,200 soldiers, including Task Force Hellas and Task Force POL/UKR (Polish/Ukraine) and Turkey. The charter mission of MNBG-E is maintaining a safe and secure environment and providing freedom of movement for the people in Kosovo.