Published: March 14th 2010
March 13th 2010
Our day started out with a simple little outing with Coconut so I could show her the sights of our local area here in Kosovo. We spent some fun times at the playground, drove through the small towns and spent some quality moments just chatting with the locals. She was just tickled about how peaceful everything was. The people in the villages would wave as we drove by, the children could be heard giggling and chasing after each other and again we stopped by for a little taste of Kosovo at a local restaurant.
When we returned back to Camp Bondsteel there was a buzz amongst the soldiers and it was absolutely exciting news! Some Soldiers are going home early! I tracked Davina down and she explained the entire thing to us so that we would fully understand what would be happening in the months to come. Apparently there was a news release that went out and laid out some pretty decent information.
As you remember there are nearly 1400 U.S. Soldiers serving here in Kosovo as part of NATO Kosovo Force along with 31 other Nations, which currently has a total force of over 14,000 soldiers.
So when Headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe announced that the forces from around the world would decline to 10,000 this meant that over 500 American soldiers would be returning home before summer. Everybody knew that this was a significant move in the right direction. KFOR 12 was sent over here to be peacekeepers and so something must be going very good all around Kosovo. Davina said that these changes started on February 1st, when the KFOR 12 rotation formerly called Multi-National Task Force-East, changed to Multi-National Battle Group-East and signaled the transformation of the Kosovo mission to a more responsive and flexible force structure. The improving security situation throughout Kosovo is the reason for all the changes. Not only has there been hard work and cooperation of the citizens and institutions in Kosovo, but for years many many nations have provided soldiers and civilians that have worked hand in hand with the people of Kosovo in all of the towns and villages which has established a secure environment and has ensured public safety across the country.
My read on all this is that all my army friends here right now are a part of history. Not
everyone can say that they have served in a combat zone when it transforms into a country that no longer relies on the level of outside assistance required to maintain peace. So there is much for them to be proud of and must I mention again that there will be soldiers who get to return home before the summer!
Soldiers from California, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, Kansas and North Dakota will all be sending some troops home. Of course the leadership here will take a look at which soldiers will return home in May based on their specific duty and whether or not they will be necessary for future missions.
This was a perfect time for Coconut to come and visit, and also for me to be able to watch my friends put together a plan to ensure all the equipment and soldiers get from here in Kosovo clear back to Camp Atterbury on the proper days so that soldiers can return back to their families as soon as possible.
So I think that in the weeks to come me and Coconut are going to have a blast and take in as much of
the area as we possibly can, because we only have this one time to visit Kosovo. Stay tuned for our further adventures and maybe we will even meet some new soldiers and get to travel on some missions that you will find quite interesting!
There are more photos below