On 13th February 2014, COMKFOR, Major General Salvatore FARINA, presided over the farewell ceremony in Camp Bond Steel in Ferizaj, to mark the Change of Command of Battle Group East between Col. Woods and Col Hensley.
During the ceremony COM KFOR awarded Col Woods with the KFOR NATO "non-article five” Peace Mission Medal and praised his high professionalism.
USA has been part of KFOR, since the very beginning of the mission in 1999, and has made significant contributions to the operation.
The USA military has been a leading Nation in Kosovo since the beginning, for 15 years the soldiers and airmen of United States have played a pivotal role in improving the condition in Kosovo, particularly in the Northern Area where they have been deployed.
United States soldiers professionally served in Kosovo to ensure a safe and secure environment to the population of all ethnic and religious groups, giving an outstanding contribution to KFOR mission and exceptional example of ability to work in a multinational force and joint environment.
Commander of KFOR, Major General FARINA, praised the work of the 525th (BfSB) for their efforts throughout their deployment, stating "you have successfully completed all missions and thus decisively contributed to the overall accomplishments of KFOR”.
COM KFOR stressed the extraordinary results during the election as well the KFOR success story, a milestone for Kosovo as evidence of effective outstanding performance that MNBG-E provided. This achievement was possible thanks to the high standard of professionalism and the perfect coordination with other international and local Security providers in a synchronized effort that reached "More Together”.
During his speech Maj. Gen. FARINA pointed out: "KFOR has developed a strong partnership with the various institutions in Kosovo, the international community and the different communities, and we continue to work hand in hand with the KSF and KP to improve their capabilities in order to facilitate handing over responsibilities to local authorities as Kosovo strengthens its local security structures."
Maj. Gen. FARINA underlined the tangible contributions of USA contingent to KFOR mission in the last nine months as the creation of the first Kosovo Intelligence Fusion Cell, the 132 UXO response operations, more than 2012 hours of flight time and the 23 Medevac provided.
COM KFOR concluded his speech saying that he was proud of the work of Battle Group East. He was proud to see American, Armenian, German, French, Turkish, Polish and Ukrainian soldiers serving together and contributing to the success of KFOR mission "More Together”.