News: U.S. KFOR commander tells local media 'positive changes' are coming
FERIZAJ/UROSEVAC and GJILAN/GNJILANE, Kosovo — Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann, commander of KFOR's Multi-National Task Force-East, Tuesday, Jan. 26, told local press clubs in Ferizaj/Urosevac and Gjilan/Gnjilane that the improved security situation in the area is directly related to positive changes that the people and institution in Kosovo are making every day.
Dohrmann, Bismarck, N.D., a member of the North Dakota Army National Guard, cited recent municipal elections in Kosovo, and the fact there was no need for KFOR assistance of any kind, as growing proof that Kosovo is headed in the right direction. The elections were successfully run by institutions in Kosovo and the post-election issues have been handled in a democratic manner, he said, all signs that citizens in Kosovo are embracing change.
"The positive change I am talking about is one that takes advantage of opportunities in front of us to build the brighter future I've talked about sine I arrived in November," Dohrmann said.
The general's comments came during his second Press Coffee event with local media in the two largest municipalities in KFOR's East Sector. The Press Coffees are meant to be informal gathering for the media to discuss important issues in the MNTF-E area of operation.
Dohrmann leads the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, based in Fargo, N.D. The 141st is the headquarters unit for all MNTF-E forces in Kosovo, including troops from the U.S., Greece, Poland, Ukraine, Romania and Armenia.
Dohrmann said positive changes taking place across Kosovo have allowed KFOR to reshape and adapt to the improving security situation.
One visible sign of this transition will take place, Feb. 1, when all KFOR Multi-National Task Forces will be renamed Multi-National Battle Groups.
"This is not only a change in name but a change in the way we will conduct operation," Dohrmann said.
Under the new structure, he said, Multi-National Battle Group-East will adjust the number of patrols its Soldiers conduct in urban areas, where the Kosovo Police and European Rule of Law in Kosovo provide security.
"This will increase our capability to respond quickly and decisively anywhere in Kosovo with more agile and flexible forces," he said.
Dohrmann also highlighted the potential being demonstrated by the Kosovo Security Force as another positive change taking place in Kosovo. He said emergency operations being conducted by the KSF in flood-stricken Northern Albania shows that it is an effective pillar of the security sector.
Dohrmann said one thing that will not change for MNBG-E is its primary mission: to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement as a third responder behind the KP and EULEX.
"I think we would all agree that there is a lot of positive change affecting everyone in Kosovo," he said. "Let's work together and continue this movement."