Armenian contingent begins new rotation in Kosovo

The 22nd Armenian armed forces contingent, assigned to Multinational Battle Group-East’s Southern Command Post, said farewell to their multinational partners and welcomed the 23rd Armenian contingent to Kosovo during a transfer of authority ceremony, Dec. 12 at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, according to DVIDS.

The 22nd Armenian contingent completed a six-month deployment in support of NATO’s Kosovo Force peace support mission, which maintains a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for the citizens of Kosovo.

U.S. Army Maj. Stephan Nowakowski, the executive officer for MNBG-E’S SCP and the Connecticut National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment, spoke to the incoming and outgoing contingents during the ceremony.

“Thank you for all the hard work you’ve done on this rotation,” said Nowakowski, in reference to the missions the contingent conducted to support KFOR and Kosovo’s law enforcement institutions. “This contingent has performed exceptionally well during your assignment here, and you have helped strengthen the entire MNBG-E by performing perimeter reaction force missions.”

“The outgoing contingent has been an important part of the SCP team,” Nowakowski said. “For those that have arrived in Kosovo, I welcome you to the KFOR mission and I know you will do extremely well.”

In their final remarks, senior leaders from the 22nd Armenian contingent thanked the MNBG-E command for their support throughout the deployment.

“It was a great experience working with our multinational partners. We learned a lot working with the multinational forces here, and most of all we admire and respect the professionalism presented here,” said. Maj. Karen Davtyan, commander of the outgoing Armenian contingent.

U.S. Army Col. Vernon Simpson, commander of the North Carolina National Guard’s 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, and MNBG-E, was present at the ceremony, where he praised the outgoing contingent’s hard work and welcomed their replacements to the KFOR mission.

“Today marks the culmination of a very successful deployment for the 22nd Armenian contingent,” Simpson said. “Your presence as the perimeter reaction force at Camp Bondsteel has given me comfort and allowed me to focus in other areas.”

The soldiers in this unit were well-trained, prepared for the mission, and led by top-quality officers and noncommissioned officers, Simpson said.

Simpson welcomed the new contingent to MNBG-E at the close of his remarks by saying they have arrived in Kosovo at a critical point in history, and that he is confident that MNBG-E will continue to carry out its mission successfully with the help of Armenia’s 23rd contingent and all of KFOR’s multinational forces.

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