CAMP RIGAS FEREOS, Kosovo – The 501st Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the Greek army handed over its responsibilities in Kosovo to the 506th Mech. Inf. Bn. in a transfer of authority ceremony June 23.
The transfer of authority signified the end of the 501st’s rotation in Kosovo. The ceremony featured speeches by the commander of Multinational Battle Group East (MNBG E), the commander of Greek forces in Kosovo and the commander of the Joint Logistics Support Group (JSLG).
In his speech, Army Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann, commander of MNBG E, paid farewell to Lt. Col. Konstantinos Tsekmes, commander of the 501st, and welcomed Greek army Lt. Col. Ilias Detsikas, commander of the 506th.
“When you and your soldiers look back at your service in Kosovo, take note of how much was accomplished by your team of professional soldiers working in concert with international partners,” Dohrmann said. “You and the 501st played an essential role in fulfilling the NATO Kosovo Force mission.”
Dohrmann highlighted the many accomplishments of the 501st during its tour of duty.
“You executed numerous CIMIC (Civil military co-operation) projects, including providing daily food donations, seven humanitarian aid donations and a volunteer blood drive,” he said. “By doing all of this, you successfully ensured that a safe and secure environment was maintained so the people of Kosovo could continue to build a secure future.”
The 501st also conducted patrols and provided security forces for KFOR headquarters at Film City. In its role as part of JLSG, it provided a transportation company and an engineer platoon that constructed roads and transported fuel, vehicles and materials.
Multinational Battle Group East is a U.S- led task force commanded by Army Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann. This Battle Group is comprised of nearly 1,200 soldiers, including Greece, Poland, 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.