LEPOSAVIC, Kosovo — Soldiers from Multinational Battle Group East relinquished security duties to Hungarian soldiers from Multinational Battle Group West at Camp Nothing Hill during a ceremony May 24.
The U.S. soldiers spent four weeks at Camp Nothing Hill where they served as the area's Quick Reaction Force, a unit capable of responding to any situation in less than one hour. They also conducted patrols in neighboring cities and near the Administrative Border Line with Serbia. The Hungarian soldiers, commanded by Hungarian army Capt. Sandor Viragos, are now tasked with these duties.
The ceremony, symbolizing the transfer of authority, took place after an orientation process that lasted from May 21-24.
Army 1st Lt. Jarrod Simek, of Dickinson, N.D., who commanded the U.S. soldiers at Camp Nothing Hill, looked back on the month of working with multinational partners in northern Kosovo.
“I feel very fortunate that we received the mission and had the opportunity to work with the different multinational units,” Simek said. “I would have to say that this was our 'feather in the hat' for this KFOR 12 rotation.”
Simek said his soldiers conducted force protection, medical assistance and other patrols, as well as serving as a Quick Reaction Force in support of MNBG N and the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX).
Army Col. Robert Fode, of Bismarck, N.D., deputy commander-maneuver for MNBG E, and Army Command Sgt. Maj. Jack W. Cripe, of Dickinson, N.D., MNBG E's top enlisted soldier, represented MNBG E's command group at the ceremony.
“This is a unique opportunity for the soldiers to work with MNBG N soldiers and see how they do business,” Fode said. “Also, the soldiers had a mission every day, be it security on Camp Nothing Hill, or at Gate 1 along the ABL with Serbia, or on patrols, the pace of work certainly quickened for them.”
Multinational Battle Group East is a U.S.- led unit, commanded by Army Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann. This Battle Group is comprised of nearly 1,200 soldiers, including Task Force Hellas and Task Force POL/UKR (Polish/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.