LEPOSAVIC/LEPOSAVIQ, Kosovo — Polish and U.S. soldiers from Multinational Battle Group East relinquished their security duties at Camp Nothing Hill to Hungarian and Slovenian soldiers from MNBG West during a ceremony here, Nov. 10.
The Polish and U.S. soldiers spent four weeks at Camp Nothing Hill. While there, the Polish, among other duties, served as the area's Quick Reaction Force. Their QRF responsibilities included responding to any situation in Kosovo, especially the northern area, in a very short amount of time. In this QRF role, KFOR troops must be able to react on short notice if asked to support Kosovo Police and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo.
In addition to QRF responsibilities, the Polish soldiers also conducted patrols in neighboring cities and near the Administrative Boundary Line with Serbia, and maintained security at Gate 1 along the ABL.
The role of the U.S. Soldiers at Camp Nothing Hill was to provide base security, which included guarding the gate, landing zone and perimeter of the camp.
The outgoing company of Polish soldiers, commanded by Polish army Capt. Piotr Skowlmowski, will return to Camp Bondsteel, where they will continue to serve as a maneuver company within MNBG E. Similarly, the U.S. Soldiers that were stationed at Camp Nothing Hill, who are all members of the Puerto Rico National Guard, will also return to Camp Bondsteel, where they will rejoin the rest of A Company, 1st Battalion, 296th Infantry Regiment, commanded by Capt. Carlos Gonzalez, San Sebastian, Puerto Rico.
The incoming company of Hungarian soldiers is commanded by Hungarian 1st Lt. Péter Csönge, MNBG W.
“We will be providing QRF capabilities, as well as patrolling the ABL and manning the gates there,” said Csönge.
There are also a handful of Slovenian soldiers that will be stationed at Camp Nothing Hill.
“They are with us as interpreters,” Csönge said of the Slovenian soldiers. “They can speak Serbian, so they’ll be able to talk to local people for us. Plus, they’re soldiers, as well, so they are helpful in that sense.”
Csönge added that he is confident in his company and that they are familiar with the situation in this area of Kosovo, as his company has been dispatched to this area recently for various missions.
The ceremony, which signified the transfer of authority from the Polish soldiers to the Hungarian and Slovenian soldiers, involved the lowering of the Polish flag and the raising of the Hungarian and Slovenian flags.
Following the raising and lowering of the flags, Danish Lt. Col. Jens Nyrup, deputy commander, MNBG N, addressed the soldiers that were assembled for the ceremony.
“The presence of a maneuver company here in Camp Nothing Hill show’s KFOR’s ability to operate anywhere in Kosovo with impartiality,” Nyrup told the soldiers. “It is also a good opportunity for you to practice some of your essential soldiering skills, such as flexibility, responsiveness and situational awareness.”
He then thanked the outgoing Polish soldiers for their hard work and dedication to their mission at Nothing Hill.
“Through your initiatives and your relevant understanding of the situation,” Nyrup told the Polish soldiers, “you did a great job and helped KFOR by always keeping the situation in this area in grip. I hope that you will look back at your month here in Camp Nothing Hill with joy.”
Nyrup concluded the ceremony by addressing the incoming Hungarian and Slovenian soldiers and wishing them luck, saying he is confident that they will be successful in their time at Camp Nothing Hill.