CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kososvo -- U.S. Army Col. Victor Torres led about a dozen soldiers from the Puerto Rico based 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade on a visit here.
It was the soldiers' first look at what eventually will be their duty station when they take over NATO peacekeeping responsibilities later this year from the North Dakota based 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade of KFOR 12 (Kosovo Forces).
The Puerto Rican unit, the largest in the U.S. territory's Army National Guard, will be part of the KFOR 13 rotation in Multi-National Battle Group-East, based at Camp Bondsteel.
Torres was accompanied on the visit by Col. Orlando Izquierdo, the Battle Group's judge advocate general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Gilbert Arocho.
"This trip will help me to prepare my soldiers for their next mission, KFOR13," Torres said. "This helps us get a much better view and understanding of the duties and responsibilities for each of my soldiers."
As part of the visit, the KFOR 13 soldiers were treated to an orientation briefing about Camp Bondsteel, the region of Kosovo, the NATO mission in Kosovo and a tour of the base. They also received an aerial tour over south eastern Kosovo aboard a UH-60 Blackhawk, before returning for more meetings with the KFOR 12 soldiers they will be replacing.
Other members of KFOR 13 who participated in the visit were: Capt. Omar Lorenzo, Maj. Rolando Vargas, Lt. Col. Orlando Nigaglioni, Lt. Col. Bienvenido Serrano-Castro, Maj. Higinio Figueroa, Lt. Col. Timothy Taylor, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Waller, Maj. Luis Martinez and Capt. Margaret Bundesen.
"It was a pleasure to welcome our guests from the Puerto Rican Army National Guard and other units that make up the 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade of KFOR 13," said Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann, commander of Multi-National Task Force-East. "It was not long ago that we were in their shoes, eagerly learning everything we could about Kosovo and our mission here. I wish them all the best and nothing but success as they forge through their training toward the day we turn over authority to their able and capable hands."
There are two more visits to Kosovo planned for various soldiers of the 92nd MEB as they continue their orientation tours before the unit is officially mobilized. The 92nd MEB is based in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico.
"My visit has gone extremely well, I appreciate the hospitality from [Brig.] Gen. Dohrmann, and his staff. [They] have been very helpful," Torres said. "I cannot express enough that we are ambassadors of peace."