News: JRD-E, JRD-S conduct merger ceremony
Story by Sgt. Samantha Parks
CAMP PRIZREN, Kosovo –Joint Regional Detachment-East and Joint Regional Detachment-South held a merger and restructure ceremony near Camp Prizren Jan. 13.
“Today is a significant day in the history of JRD-South,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Summerlin, a platoon sergeant with JRD-E from Richland, Miss. “From today the [detachments] will become one, merging their area of responsibility and all their liaison monitoring teams.”
With the merger, JRD-E will cease to exist and the combined area will be known as JRD-S.
Joint Regional Detachment-East was created in April 2004 with an operational area covering 12 municipalities and five liaison monitoring teams.
U.S. Army Maj. Johnathan Hartsock, commander of JRD-E and a native of Vinton, Va., thanked Italian Maj. Gen. Salvatore Farina, Kosovo Forces Commander, for his leadership and guidance throughout his command.
“I gratefully appreciate your mentorship and guidance that you provided over the last eight months as you have helped guide me through challenging waters that I would have easily drowned in had it not been for you,” Hartsock said.
Hartsock also thanked the representatives from the institutions in Kosovo, religious leaders and numerous colleagues that aided him during his command.
“All of the municipalities in the JRD-E area of operations from Kamenicia to Strpce, and from Hani Elezit to Stimje, are all expertly lead by tireless public servants in the Kosovo Police, KBP (Kosovo Border Police), and local government that provide a bright and shining example to the rest of Kosovo of what right looks like,” Hartsock said. “Your daily efforts here made your communities prosper and in turn have contributed to our mission success as we have helped enabled KFOR maintain the safe and secure environment enjoyed here. For that I sincerely say ‘thank you.’”
Hartsock also extended gratitude to the backbone of JRD-E: the officers, NCOs and soldiers.
“You have come together from three different nations: the US, Poland and Turkey; and all of you have been genuine professionals, dedicated to our mission here, and true ambassadors of your home country,” Hartsock said. “Your hard work and support over the last eight months has been simply amazing.”
JRD-E spent more than 7,000 hours behind the wheel, driving throughout their area of operation and contributed to more than 1,200 situation reports.
“In addition to your daily missions, your flexibility and competence enabled us to conduct an internal re-alignment of forces,” Hartsock said. “Which allowed us to become more effective and efficient as our Polish and Turkish LMTs each took on more responsibility in our area of operations.”
With the casing of JRD-E colors, Turkey took command of the newly restructured joint regional detachment area of operations.