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KFOR Chronicle 2003

No 1

COMKFOR Chronicle Editorial

As we enter this new year, I ask all of you not to let your guard down. We must remain attentive. As recent events and indicators have shown us, the relative calm around us is indeed fragile. A single event, like the recent assassination in Pec, can be easily and quickly manipulated by extremists, political parties and those with criminal interests. Of course, some of these activities have direct security implications for us.

Back Home!

On 22 December 2002, Gen. Thorette, chief of the general staff (French), officially disbanded the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion (BIMeca). BIMeca, based on the 92nd Infantry Regiment stationed in Clermont-Ferrand (French Central Massif), will be withdrawn at the end of the 11th Mandate, having implemented the "unfixing strategy" in Mitrovica.

KFOR Builds A By-Pass Road in Mitrovica

In order to make movement easier for civilians and military units in Mitrovica, the engineers of the French engineer battalion (MNB/NE) began building a by-pass in November 2002. This ambitious project includes the building of 300 meters of road, a bridge of 40 meters and the amelioration of an existing road 1,500 meters long.
This project will create a bypass that will go around the south of Mitrovica. It will connect the four main axes routes of KFOR (fish, bull, cat and hen) and it will allow travelers to leave the town by any of these routes.

Ukrainan Soldiers Celebrated Christmas

A group of military, civilian, and religious authorities from Ukraine arrived in Kosovo 8th of January, to greet the peacekeepers in observance of Orthodox Christmas.
Headed by Deputy Commander of Western Operational Command of Ukrainian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Ludvig Koberskij, the delegation consisted of representatives from the three main churches, heads of regional administrations and others.

"Hristos se rodi!" -
"Vaistinu se rodi!"
Christmas traditions in Serb Orthodox Church

"Christ is born!" - "Yes, he is really born!" This traditional ritual of proclamation and reply of the Nativity of Jesus Christ marked the Orthodox Christmas Liturgy, held at the monastery of Decani.
Thanks to an invitation by the Monks of the Decani Monastery and the organisational efforts of our Theatre Chaplain LTC Sven Jernberg, 14 members of HQ KFOR joined the Orthodox Christmas Liturgy on 7th January. While the Roman Catholic Church follows the Gregorian calendar, the Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar, which lags by thirteen days.

Blue Watch on Parade

You may not know it, but one of the most modern and well trained group of Fire Fighters in Kosovo is in the middle of its genesis in Film City.
Since Oct 2001 when the first Kosovars were first employed as the Film City Fire Brigade, the growing team has come on in leaps and bounds, daily becoming more efficient and professional in all aspects of fire fighting.

Special guests on Christmas in the German NSE

On Christmas Eve, December 24th, the new German NSE had two special guests. They arrived with a loud ring of a bell. Nearly 70 German members of the Christmas celebration looked eagerly outside of the windows into the dark night. In the same moment, all conversation stopped. The ringing of the bell became louder and louder, but nothing was seen.

Greek Soldiers Celebrated Orthodox Christmas

For the Greek Force Support Unit (GFSU) any visitor is always welcome. When this visitor is coming from the homeland, the delight gets bigger, especially when he is the highest in the Greek Military hierarchy.

Lagunari … not only Warriors !!

With the Christmas Holidays approaching, the Italian Contingent of Lagunari from Venice has further increased its CIMIC activities. The children of several kindergardens and primary schools of the Pec and Klina areas have become the guests of our three compounds and the Lagunaris are getting closer and closer to the kids of all the ethnic groups present in the area.

UK BG TRAINS KPC

The UK BG is responsible for liaison with several Kosovo Protection Corp Units (KPC) based within its Pristina area of operations (AO); this is a responsibility the UK BG takes very seriously.

MNB Southwest distributes 35,000 magazines

Almost two years ago, Multinational Brigade South started publishing Dritarja, an Albanian language periodical. Its aim was to inform people about various subjects, as there wasn't a comparable magazine in Kosovo.

Heavy Metal
Armored TF 2-63 in Camp Magrath

Camp Magrath, Kosovo - Task Force 2-63 is part of the 63rd Armored Regiment currently serving as part of the 1st Infantry Division in Vilseck, Germany. 63rd Armor has a long history of achievements in the American Military.

More

A School for Everyone

Kosovo's first multi-ethnic school is a reality. Thanks to economic and practical support from KFOR, the Cerkvena Vodica school recently reopened - with room for everyone. Of course, it was lovely to see all the kids playing together, and that co-operation within the municipality is going well.

A new way of multinational peace-keeping co-operation in Kosovo - Cooperation between KFOR and policemen

Although the Austrian contingent has been stationed in Kosovo for three years, the basic relationship to UNMIK´s International Police Task Force has stayed about the same with few oportunties for common missions, restricted to tasks with a high a risk factor such as house searching, whereas a closer co-operation within the ordinary peace-keeping tasks has not existed.

Rapid Guardian 2003

Everyone that was present for the air drop was taken aback by the clear blue sky, the crisp noon air and the panoramic backdrop of the mountains at Krusevo airfield. Then, at exactly 12:00, three C-130 Hercules could be seen coming out of the haze at one thousand feet and with pinpoint accuracy, they unload their cargo over the designated drop zone. One hundred and seventy American paratroopers of the elite 173ed Airborne Brigade of Vietnam fame could be seen exiting their aircraft and effortlessly descending to the ground.

More than a Christmas Party

Every time he met his soldiers from different camps in Kosovo, the Romanian Chief of Staff of the Land Forces LT. Gen. Eugen Badalan, said that he hadn’t come for an inspection, but to bring to the Romanian military troops some of the special Christmas feeling from home. And he did!

Sabrina Ferilli in Kosovo at MSU HQ

A holiday for the Italian actress invited to visit Italian Carabinieri at the MSU base. "What you are doing to restore peace is wonderful" she said.

Wilfred Owen - The Soldier Poet

War and conflict have always brought out the poet in every soldier. Whether it be the sudden realisation of ones own mortality, the separation from family and friends, or simply the long hours spent on some silent hill side over a prolonged guard duty.
One of the greatest of these poets of WW1 was Wilfred Owen. Few would challenge the claim that Wilfred Owen is the greatest writer of war poetry in the English language. He wrote out of his intense personal experience as a soldier and wrote with unrivalled power of the physical, moral and psychological trauma of the First World War.

1 STAFFORDS EXERCISE IN BOSNIA
The UK Battle Group, part of the Operational Reserve Forces, take part to Exercise “Joint Resolve”

From 1st to 7th December 2002, the 1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment deployed a Company group plus and a Battalion HQ to the American Sector in Bosnia as part of EXERCISE JOINT RESOLVE.