On 10th June 2014, COMKFOR, Major General Salvatore FARINA, presided over the farewell ceremony in Camp "Villaggio Italia” in Pec/Peja, to mark the Change of Command of Battle Group West between Col. Sgobba Antonio and Col. Minelli Angelo.
During the ceremony COM KFOR awarded Col. Sgobba with the KFOR NATO "non-article five” Peace Mission Medal and praised his high professionalism.
Italy has been part of KFOR, since the very beginning of the mission in 1999, and has made significant contributions to the operation being a leading Nation in Kosovo.
During the last 15 years the Italian soldiers have played a central role in improving the overall condition in Kosovo, particularly in the Western Area where they have been deployed.
Commander of KFOR, Major General FARINA stressed the professionalism, capability and enthusiasm of the Italian troops who served in Kosovo under his command, an exceptional example of the ability to work in a multinational and joint environment.
A safe and secure environment for the population of all ethnic and religious groups is the legacy that the outgoing Italian contingent is leaving behind.
Furthermore COMKFOR praised the work of the 52nd Artillery Regiment "Torino” for their efforts throughout their deployment, stating "you have successfully completed all missions and thus decisively contributed to the overall accomplishments of KFOR mission”.
COM KFOR stressed the extraordinary results in support of the Kosovo Police and EULEX in the western part of Kosovo during the recent general elections "a ‘success story for Kosovo', a milestone in the process of normalization of relations between Pristina and Belgrade an example of democracy and pluralism”. This achievement was possible thanks to the high standards of professionalism and the perfect coordination with other international and local Security providers in a synchronized effort.
KFOR has developed a strong partnership with the various institutions in Kosovo, the international community and the different communities, and continues to work hand in hand with Kosovo Police to improve their capabilities in order to facilitate handing over responsibilities to local authorities as Kosovo strengthens its local security structures.
COM KFOR concluded his speech saying that he was proud of the work of Battle Group West. He was honored to see Italian, Austrian, Slovenia and Moldavia soldiers serving together contributing to the success of KFOR mission "More Together”.