News: KFOR aviation soldiers conduct hand over in Kosovo
Story by Sgt. Samantha Stoffregen
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – Aviation soldiers with Task Force Warhorse, Kosovo Force 18, take command from Task Force Phalanx, KFOR 17, in a ceremony at Camp Bondsteel Jan. 20.
U.S. Army Col. David Woods, Multinational Battle Group-East commander and a native of Denbo, Pa., offered a warm welcome to the incoming unit.
“Today’s transfer of authority ceremony marks the end of a very successful tour for KFOR 17 TF Aviation soldiers and the beginning of what I am confident will also be a successful tour for the newest rotation of our task force aviation,” Woods said.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. G. Leonard Barton and U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Fowden, both from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 211th Aviation, Utah Army National Guard, take command for the Southern Command Post in conjunction with the TF Aviation command.
Barton thanked his predecessor for conducting a "fantastic" handoff and shared his thoughts.
“If we work together as a team, if we share common goals, work out and look out for the safety and welfare of each other, we will have outstanding achievement,” Barton said. “I have a talented and committed team. We are excited to show you who we are.”
Woods said that he is confident that KFOR 18’s aviation task force is ready to take on the challenges and successes of their mission.
“I am sure you have noticed already our multinational battle group is quite unique,” Woods said. “It consists of a diverse group of soldiers from nine different countries and each soldier brings a special skill and capability to the battle group. Although we each come from different backgrounds, we share the same common goal in wanting to provide a safe and secure environment for the people of Kosovo.”
The incoming aviation task force soldiers are made up of National Guard soldiers from HHC 2nd Battalion, 211th Aviation, Utah; Bravo Company, 248th Aviation Support Battalion, Iowa; Charlie Company, 2nd BN, 28th Assault Helicopter BN, North Dakota, Fox Company, 135th Aviation (Air Ambulance), Louisiana.
TF Warhorse mobilized Nov. 21, 2013 and will be joined by the 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, out of Fort Hood, Texas, as KFOR 18 in support of NATO peace keeping mission, Operation Joint Guardian.
Under the authority of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, NATO has been leading the peace support operation in Kosovo since June 12, 1999 in support of wider international efforts to build peace and stability in the area.