Military News

Friday, July 10, 2015

1/40th CAV redeploys with fanfare

by Staff Sgt. William Banton
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs


7/10/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Approximately 350 Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division were honored in a redeployment ceremony at Buckner Physical Fitness Center July 10, 2015.

Several hundred paratroopers assigned to the 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, along with a small contingent of paratroopers assigned to the brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, returned home from a 10-month rotation in support of peacekeeping operations in Kosovo.

"This team ensured a continuous safe and secure environment for the freedom of the people of Kosovo," said Maj. Gen. Bryan Owens, U.S. Army Alaska commanding general, at the redeployment ceremony. "These Arctic Warriors served daily alongside our North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies supporting nations including Hungary, Armenia, Germany, Poland and Turkey."

As part of the NATO-led Kosovo Force, Multinational Battle Group-East, the 1-40th CAV supported Kosovo police, alongside a multinational force which included Soldiers from Romania, Armenia, Moldova and Kazakhstan. This support included conducting steady-state operations involving more than 1,000 presence patrols, 180 unexploded ordnance disposals, 139 synchronized patrols and 18 reconnaissance operations.

"I think the behavior and the conduct of the Soldiers was extremely professional," said. Col. Clint Baker, MNBG-E commander. "We had a flawless record of mission success. All in all, I think the Soldiers did it as about as good as anyone could do it. I'm really proud of them."

Owens echoed the same sentiment in his remarks.

"They epitomize what the chief of staff of the Army refers to as globally deployed, regionally engaged forces," Owens said. "Today it is an absolute pleasure to welcome home this team and say job well done."

KFOR entered Kosovo in June 1999 in support of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, tasked with maintaining a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all Kosovo's citizens. At that time, the Balkans were in turmoil, facing the biggest military and humanitarian crisis since World War II.

A mounting conflict between the Serb-dominated military of the Federal Yugoslav Republic and the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army demanding independence from Belgrade had claimed some 10,000 lives and sparked the exodus of almost 1 million Albanian refugees.

According to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. forces played a key role in KFOR operations to end the war and established diplomatic relations with Kosovo, following its declaration of independence in 2008.

Additional reporting by Donna Miles, American Forces Press Service, and Army Sergeant Brian Ragin, 4-25 Public Affairs.

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