PRISTINA, Kosovo - U.S. Navy Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III visited Headquarters Kosovo Force (HQ KFOR) in Pristina for the first time after taking over the responsibility of Joint Force Command Naples (JFCNP) and met KFOR Commander Maj. Gen. Salvatore Farina Aug. 20-21, 2014.
Maj. Gen. Salvatore Farina updated Adm. Ferguson on the current security situation in Kosovo. They discussed the important steps for the implementation of the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina in order to achieve normalization and resolution of regional security issues with specific focus on to the situation in the northern part of the country.
KFOR staff updated Adm. Ferguson with a briefing on the political and security situation, operational activities outcomes, future plans and Kosovo Security Forces and NATO Liaison Advisory Team developments.
During the morning of the first day, Adm. Ferguson and Maj. Gen. Farina met with Mr. Bernd Borchart, Head of EULEX in Pristina.
"This has been an extremely worthwhile visit. It has been reassuring to observe the ongoing productive cooperation between KFOR and EULEX, and I have every confidence that this working relationship will allow us to continue to achieve our collective goals,” said Adm. Ferguson.
Later in the evening, Adm. Ferguson met with the ambassadors of France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Adm. Ferguson stated, "I have been once again reminded of the importance of the international community in reinforcing the process of normalization between Belgrade and Pristina and it is heartening to note that KFOR has been able to provide support in this role.”
On Aug. 21, Adm. Ferguson and Maj. Gen. Farina made a battlefield circulation in the northern area, starting from Mitrovica where Adm. Ferguson visited Little Bosnia, EULEX Court House and the Kosovo Police Station. The tour continued via Austerlitz Bridge on Ibar River where he was updated by the Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU) Commander on the general situation in Mitrovica and the surrounding area where KFOR Troops are permanently deployed.
Later Adm. Ferguson visited the most important outposts of KFOR in the north where tactical commanders provided the admiral with an overview of the operational situation. He visited Camp Cabra in Zubin Potok, Forward Operation Post 31, Camp Nothing Hill in Leposavic and the border crossing point Gate 1.
Finally Adm. Ferguson and Maj. Gen. Farina visited Camp Marechal de Lattre de Tassigny in Novo Selo, which has been under the direct responsibility of NATO since July 1, 2014.
Admiral Ferguson closed his visit with a statement to the KFOR troops, "The Balkan area has long been recognized as both a delicate and complex region. However, I truly believe that the work and commitment of each and every one of you, has made KFOR a crucial partner in the stabilization process.”