The new commander for Operation Kobold, Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Mills, assumed command from Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Poudrier today during a ceremony at the NATO headquarters in Pristina, Kosovo.
The ceremony marks the transition between Rotations 15 and 16 of Operation Kobold, Canada's contribution to the Kosovo Force (KFOR), the NATO-led peace-support operation working to develop a capable Kosovo Security Force.
This deployment demonstrates Canada’s commitment to NATO, to solidarity with our allies, and to peace and stability for this region of Eastern Europe.
As commander of Task Force Pristina, Lieutenant-Colonel Mills commands four Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel. These experienced CAF members serve in a variety of staff roles at the Kosovo Force headquarters, including assisting the development of the Kosovo Security Force, as well as coordinating logistical support for the NATO force.
Canada has supported Kosovo Force periodically since its establishment in June 1999. CAF originally deployed a Task Force until June 2000 as part of Operation Kinetic. In August 2008, CAF committed staff officers to Kosovo Force headquarters, which continues to this day.
The Kosovo Force (KFOR) was established in June 1999 when NATO’s 78-day air campaign against Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, aimed at putting an end to violence in Kosovo, ended. KFOR derives its mandate from UNSCR 1244 (1999) and the Military Technical Agreement between the International Security Force (KFOR) and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia.
As of October 2016, KFOR comprises approximately 4,600 troops from 30 nations, of which 21 are members of NATO. It is organized as two multinational battle groups supported by a reserve battalion, a specialist unit, a joint logistics group, and a headquarters. KFOR works closely with the European Union (E.U.), especially the E.U. Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), the United Nations, and many non-governmental organizations.
|Outgoing Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Poudrier (left), and incoming Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Mills (right), as well as the Commander of the Kosovo Force (KFOR), Major-General Giovanni Fungo (centre), signed the transfer of authority documents on April 27, 2017, in Pristina, Kosovo, for the command of Op Kobold. Op Kobold is Canada's contribution to the KFOR, the NATO-led peace-support operation working to develop a capable Kosovo Security Force.|