FERIZAJ/UROSEVAC, Kosovo — Representatives from the Kosovo Police (KP), European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and Multinational Battle Group East conducted a "walk-through" in Ferizaj/Urosevac, Kosovo, April 14 to finalize the plans for a joint response exercise in June.
The planned exercise will test the ability of the three groups to work together to respond to a simulated demonstration with the KP assuming the lead, followed by EULEX, and then NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR).
"It’s going to be a joint exercise to develop standard operating procedures for assistance if necessary above the KP level," said Army Capt. James Lindeman, of Fargo, N.D., the chief of MNBG E’s Joint Law Enforcement Liaison Team.
Lindeman also said KFOR’s primary mission is to provide a safe and secure environment in Kosovo as a third responder behind KP and EULEX. The exercise will give the groups a chance to work through the steps that would lead to MNBG E being called in to assist local law enforcement.
"In the exercise, we will practice escalation of manpower and operations leading to the activation of KFOR as a third responder," Lindeman said.
On April 14, the KP walked through the plan with two EULEX officers and about a dozen MNBG E soldiers including Lindeman, Army Col. Robert Fode, of Bismarck, N.D., MNBG E’s deputy commander maneuver, and Army Capt. Jason Peterson, of Grand Forks, N.D., commander of MNBG E’s Bravo Company.
The scenario for the exercise calls for a group of people to engage in a demonstration at a sports field at the same time that municipal officials are meeting in a nearby building. KP, EULEX and MNBG E will then respond to various situations growing out of the basic scenario.
At the walk through, the participants inspected the area where the exercise will take place, discussed factors such as where the KP plans to place roadblocks, how the traffic will flow and where MNBG E forces will stage if called to assist.
KP Capt. Basri Shabani explained that the KP has substantial riot control capabilities, including the ability to deploy tear gas and water cannons, and that it would be testing those capabilities during the exercise before EULEX or MNBG E would be called in.
Peterson, who will command MNBG E’s forces during the exercise, said there would be close cooperation and coordination with the KP and EULEX.
"The goal is not for KFOR to replace the KP, but for us to work together," he said.