CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo — Multi-National Task Force-East (MNTF-E) officially will change its name to Multi-National Battle Group - East (MNBG-E), Feb. 1, signifying the task force's transformation to a more responsive and flexible force structure under KFOR's "Deterrent Presence" plan.
The change is in response to the ever improving security situation throughout Kosovo, brought about by the hard work and cooperation of the people and institutions in Kosovo.
"This is not only a change in name; it's a change in the way we will conduct operations in Battle Group East," said Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann, commander of MNBG-E. "The intent is that it will be more of a tactical reserve force, so that, if needed as a third responder behind the Kosovo Police and EULEX (European Rule of Law in Kosovo), we can respond quickly and decisively anytime and anywhere called."
Under Deterrent Presence, the North Atlantic Council, the civilian body that oversees NATO, has said military forces throughout Kosovo will be adjusted to a total force size of 10,000 by Feb. 1. At that time, all five Multi-National Task Forces in Kosovo will be renamed Multi-National Battle Groups. Some Task Forces have already made the change in name.
The change also means that KFOR, in the MNBG-E sector, will adjust the number of patrols it conducts in urban areas, where the institutions in Kosovo have proven their ability to provide security. The adjustments are designed to increase MNBG-E's mobility, flexibility and ability to quickly respond when and if KP or EULEX require support no matter where in Kosovo.
"KFOR's adaptation to the Battle Group structure will lead to more agility and mobility," Dohrmann said. "The name 'battle group' does not refer to a fighting mission, but reflects standard NATO terminology in regard to its structure of forces. These changes are not in response to, nor in preparation for, any ongoing or expected situation in Kosovo."
Dohrmann said as conditions in Kosovo continue improving, KFOR forces will continue to adapt and be more responsive to a wider area.
"This is a positive change that reflects the natural evolution of a successful mission," Dohrmann said. "In 1999, there were more than 50,000 soldiers in the region along with many capabilities no longer needed. This is just another step along that path to a brighter future in Kosovo."
Dohrmann said one thing that will not change for MNBG-E is its primary mission: to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo. "The Kosovo Police and EULEX have consistently demonstrated the capability to provide safety and security for all citizens and institutions in Kosovo - that is a success story," Dohrmann said. "As with KFOR, the time has come for Kosovo to embrace change and look to the positive developments taking place all around us."
Multi-National Battle Group- East is a U.S. led task force commanded by Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann. This task force is comprised of nearly 2,200 sldiers, including Task Force Hellas and Task Force POL/UKR (Polish/Ukraine). The charter mission of MNBG-E is maintaining a Safe and Secure Environment and providing Freedom of Movement for the people in Kosovo.