Story by: Guard Times Staff - Dated: Sun, Oct 8, 2006
Members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s 101st Engineer Battalion Forward Detachment (Whitinsville, Mass.) salute while in mass formation with the rest of Task Force Military Police during the arrival of the official party at the Kosovo Force Eight Multinational Task Force-East departure ceremony in Camp Atterbury, Ind., Sunday.
Photo by: Maj. Winfield Danielson, Mass. National Guard Public Affairs
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. -- After successfully completing weeks of mobilization training, Massachusetts Soldiers from Kosovo Force Eight Multinational Task Force - East marked another milestone in their journey to the Balkans with a departure ceremony here Sunday, Oct. 8, 2006.
MNTF-E is a brigade-sized task force that will conduct peacekeeping operations in Kosovo as part of a NATO-led force that has been in the province since 1999. Five multinational brigade-sized task forces make up the KFOR, and MNTF-E will be assuming authority for the eastern area of operations.
"I couldn’t be prouder of the men and women that stand before you today," said Brig. Gen. Douglas B. Earhart, commander of MNTF-E for the KFOR 8 rotation. "While we came here from different places and different components of the U.S. Army, we leave here united under the flag of the historic 29th Infantry Division. Each one of you should feel a great sense of accomplishment for what you have done here."
Following the ceremony, the Soldiers were released for a week of leave, after which MNTF-E will deploy overseas.
MNTF-E is comprised of approximately 1,500 Soldiers from 22 different states and Puerto Rico. The Massachusetts and Virginia National Guard provide nearly two-thirds of the task force members. Participating Massachusetts units include the 1st Squadron 182nd Cavalry (Melrose, Mass.), 101st Engineer Battalion (Whitinsville, Mass.), and A Company 1st Battalion 181st Infantry (Agawam, Mass.), all part of the 26th Brigade Combat Team, one of the newest additions to the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters.
The 42nd Division has training and resource oversight of the brigade combat team to better prepare the brigade for mobilization and deployment.
Lt. Col. Eric T. Furey, commander of the 1st Squadron 182nd Cavalry and Task Force Patriot (one of the MNTF-E maneuver battalions) noted that though Kosovo has disappeared from the headlines, people can still find information on the Internet. "All you have to do is Google it," he said. Furey added that anyone wanting to keep track of MNTF-E’s progress can visit the KFOR 8 Web site at: http://www.kfor8.com.
Photo cut-lines (attached photos by Maj. Winfield Danielson, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs):
133_3336a - Members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s 101st Engineer Battalion Forward Detachment (Whitinsville, Mass.) salute while in mass formation with the rest of Task Force Military Police during the arrival of the official party at the Kosovo Force Eight Multinational Task Force-East departure ceremony in Camp Atterbury, Ind., Sunday.