29th Infantry takes charge in Kosovo

By Melissa Vogt

There are new faces at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, although the patch of 29th Infantry Division has been seen in the Balkans before.

Task Force Falcon, made up primarily of the Texas Army National Guard’s 36th Infantry Division, turned over authority for the peacekeeping mission in a Dec. 6 ceremony, according to a press release from Multi-National Task Force-East.

U.S. participation in the Kosovo mission is now under Brig. Gen. Douglas B. Earhart and the 29th Infantry Division. The division served in Bosnia in 2001.

Multi-National Task Force-East is part of a larger NATO-led international force known as the Kosovo Force, which began operating there in 1999. Right now, the force in Kosovo includes units from Armenia, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.

The U.S. contribution is about 1,500 personnel. Almost two-thirds are currently from the Virginia and Massachusetts National Guards, the release said, although others come from California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and West Virginia. Active-duty soldiers and airmen are also part of the mission.

Multi-National Task Force-East consists of one infantry battalion, one cavalry squadron and one aviation battalion, and public affairs, medical support, military police, explosive ordnance disposal, civil affairs and military intelligence units.

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