The Forgotten 2,100 U.S. Military Personnel who Also Serve

Operation Nomad Vigil Nomad Endeavor

More than 70 U.S. military personnel deployed to Gjader Airfield, Albania, for Operation Nomad Vigil. At the center of the deployment was the Predator unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle system which provides a low-risk, cost-effective, reusable, reconnaissance and surveillance platform.

Operation Determined Guard
Under Operation Determined Guard (December 1996-Present) US naval forces including surface combatants, intelligence-gathering attack submarines, and active and reserve maritime patrol aircraft operated with NATO and the Western European Union to enforce the UN sanctions in the former Yugoslavia. Task Force Eagle's Stabilization Force (SFOR).

NATO-oriented Deployments:

Task Force Santa Fe (35th Infantry Division)(KS)
HQ 35th Infantry Division (KS)
TF 1-131 Armd (AL)
TF 1-149 Mech. Inf (KY)
1-161 FA (KS)(155mmSP)
35th Aviation Brigade HQ (KS)
1-108 Avn (KS)
TF 1-167 Cav (NE)

This unit was mobilized in the Winter of 2002, and given the mission of force protection over US bases in Germany. In addition, they were to supplement the Task Force Eagle units in Bosnia. There were four 6-month tours each for about two battalion task forces, mostly drawn from the 35th Infantry Division. At the beginning of 2003, Task Force Santa Fe was being supplemented in this effort by Task Force Keystone. According to the current mobilization listing, most of the 35th command elements are still active as of February 2003, but the 28th Division may take over some of the roles.

In the force protection role, Armor battalions are usually dismounted, and manning armed HMMWVs for a change of pace.

The 35th Infantry Division is also scheduled to head the SFOR #13 rotation in Bosnia in the Summer of 2003.

Task Force Keystone (28th Infantry Division)(PA
56th Brigade HQ (PA)
TF 1-103 Armd (PA)
TF 3-103 Armd (PA)
1-213 ADA (PA)(Avenger)
28th Division's SFOR contribution:
TF 1-109 Inf (Mech)(PA)
TF 1-104 Cav (PA)

Task Force Keystone is providing both Force Protection over US bases in Europe, as well as supplementing Task Force Eagle in Bosnia.
The 28th Division was already scheduled to provide SFOR support in SFOR #12, and would be doing so for at least 6 months. Typically the US deploys one infantry or armored Task Force plus one Cavalry Task force in Bosnia. Other units help reinforce Task Force Santa Fe in Germany.
218th Mech Inf Brigade (SC)
TF 1-127 Armd (NY)
TF 1-263 Armd (SC)
TF 5-117 Cav (NJ)
3-115 FA (TN)

The 218th Brigade was previously scheduled to contribute to SFOR #12 along with the 28th Infantry Division. The armor battalions listed here are not confirmed for SFOR, but are probable considering their configurations (both units have a basic armored battalion, and attached mech inf company, and Cavalry troop).

According to the DoD sources, National Guard units assigned to Europe total at a Division HQ and two complete Brigade Combat Teams, plus support units. This is enough to cover for a Germany-based heavy division to deploy to Iraq.

14 November 2003
President Bush sent a letter to Congressional leaders November 14 with a congressionally mandated report regarding the continued deployment of U.S. military personnel serving as the U.S. contribution to the NATO-led international security force in Kosovo (KFOR). Following is the text of the letter:

Office of the Press Secretary
November 14, 2003


Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
In my report to the Congress of May 14, 2003, I provided information regarding the continued deployment of combat-equipped U.S. military personnel as the U.S. contribution to the NATO-led international security force in Kosovo (KFOR) and to other countries in the region in support of that force. I am providing this supplemental report prepared by my Administration, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), to help ensure that the Congress is kept fully informed on continued U.S. contributions in support of peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo.

As noted in previous reports, the U.N. Security Council authorized member states to establish KFOR in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 of June 10, 1999. The mission of KFOR is to provide an international security presence in order to deter renewed hostilities; verify and, if necessary, enforce the terms of the Military Technical Agreement (MTA) between NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) (which is now the Union of Serbia and Montenegro); enforce the terms of the Undertaking on Demilitarization and Transformation of the former Kosovo Liberation Army; provide day-to-day operational direction to the Kosovo Protection Corps; and maintain a safe and secure environment to facilitate the work of the U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

Currently, there are 17 NATO nations contributing to KFOR. The U.S. contribution to KFOR in Kosovo is about 2,100 U.S. military personnel, or approximately 11 percent of KFOR's total strength. Additionally, U.S. military personnel occasionally operate from Macedonia, Albania, and Greece in support of KFOR operations. Seventeen non-NATO contributing countries also participate with NATO forces in providing military personnel and other support personnel to KFOR.

The U.S. forces are assigned to a sector principally centered around Gnjilane in the eastern region of Kosovo. For U.S. KFOR forces, as for KFOR generally, maintaining a safe and secure environment remains the primary military task.

The KFOR forces operate under NATO command and control and rules of engagement. The KFOR coordinates with and supports UNMIK at most levels, provides a security presence in towns, villages, and the countryside, and organizes checkpoints and patrols in key areas to provide security, protect minorities, resolve disputes, and help instill in the community a feeling of confidence.

The UNMIK continues to transfer non-reserved competencies under the Constitutional Framework document to the Kosovar Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG). The PISG includes the President, Prime Minister and Kosovo Assembly, and has been in place since March 2002. Municipal elections were successfully held for a second time in October 2002.

NATO continues formally to review KFOR's mission at 6-month intervals. These reviews provide a basis for assessing current force levels, future requirements, force structure, force reductions, and the eventual withdrawal of KFOR. NATO has adopted the Joint Operations Area plan to regionalize and rationalize its force structure in the Balkans. KFOR has transferred full responsibility for public safety and policing to UNMIK international and local police forces throughout Kosovo except in the area of Mitrovica, where the responsibility is shared due to security concerns. The UNMIK international police and local police forces have also begun to assume responsibility for guarding patrimonial sites and established border-crossing checkpoints.

The continued deployment of U.S. forces has been undertaken pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. I appreciate the continued support of the Congress in these actions.


Photographs by DoD




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