Southeast Europe Brigade returns from NATO deployment to Afghanistan
CONSTATA, Romania — About 700 people attended a welcome home ceremony for Southeast Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) troops in the headquarters port city here Aug. 11, 2006. The force was deployed January through July 2006 in support of NATO's International Security Assistance Forces mission in Afghanistan.
This was the first deployment for the multinational peace force, which was created in 1999, and has troop commitments from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey. Over 107 soldiers from the seven countries deployed on the six-month mission as a headquarters element in the Kabul multinational brigade.
"It is a beautiful thing when these NATO members and aspirants deploy to support ‘out of area' peacekeeping missions," Army Col. Alex "Alpo" Portelli, U.S. European Command strategy, policy and assessments directorate division chief, who represented EUCOM at the ceremony, said.
The event included a medal ceremony for the troops and speeches by Bulgarian Brig. Gen. Neyko Nenov, SEEBRIG commander, and Petritt Karabina, the Albanian Dep. Minister of Defense and Southeast Europe Defense Ministerial chairman. Nenov said he was happy NATO offered the mission to SEEBRIG and that he never doubted his troops would complete it successfully.
"Although, this was the first deployment for SEEBRIG, it was not an easy one," Portelli said. "It is a tribute to Brigadier General Nenov's leadership that he could complete SEEBRIG's mission without casualties."
"By all accounts, the mission was a success," Karabina said to the crowd, during the event.