CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo -- A Transfer of Authority Ceremony was held July 16, as the 661st Military Police Company, U.S. Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Multinational Battle Group East, NATO Kosovo Force 12, handed over responsibility to 544th Military Police Company, MNGB E, KFOR 13, Puerto Rico Army National Guard.
Army Brig. Gen. Alan S. Dohrmann, outgoing commander of MNBG E, addressed the soldiers of each unit, thanking the outgoing group for their hard work, and welcoming the incoming soldiers.
“Thank you all for the great work you have done during your time here,” said Dohrmann, a native of Bismarck, N.D. “You guys were always smiling and always ready for whatever mission we needed you for. (KFOR 13)You guys are coming in here with less people than we had, you are going to have to do more with less, but from what I’ve seen, you are more than ready.”
Following Dohrmann’s comments, Army Col. Francisco J. Neuman, a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, incoming commander, MNBG E, KFOR 13, sent his good wishes to the outgoing unit.
“This is a very special ceremony for me,” said Neuman to the KFOR 12 MPs. “We have a lot in common, we are all MPs and we are all from the Caribbean. I wish you all the best of luck and a safe trip home. I hope to see you all in Puerto Rico sometime.”
The ceremony included the casing of the outgoing unit’s colors and the unveiling of the colors of the incoming unit, which signified the end of one tour and the beginning of the next. The 554th will be taking over all MP duties to include, criminal investigations, traffic and accident investigations, VIP security throughout MNBG E as well as enforcing post regulations.
Army 1st Lt. Onix Santiago, commander of the 544th, also known as team “Wild Dogs”, addressed both units and thanked them both for their help in the turn-over process.
“This has been the easiest changeover I have ever been a part of,” said Santiago, a native of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. “That is all thanks to the great job KFOR 12 has done. Thank you all for your help and the great job you have done so far, but now it’s our turn. (KFOR 13) We have big shoes to fill, but I know we are up to the task, now let’s get started.”
Individual units from KFOR 13 will be taking control of their sections from their KFOR 12 predecessors throughout the week and KFOR 13 will officially take control of MNBG E during a Transfer of Authority ceremony on July 24.