An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Vermont National Guard Logo


News | July 11, 2021

Vermont Soldiers arrive in Kosovo

By Sgt. Gloria Kamencik KFOR Regional Command East

Greetings from Kosovo!

After spending about two weeks at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Soldiers mainly from the Vermont National Guard once again packed up and moved out! We give a huge ‘thank you!’ to the full-time staff at JMRC for all their help preparing us for our mission in Kosovo. As we took the beautiful bus ride back to Nuremberg, Germany, we realized we were ready to fly to Pristina, Kosovo for our Kosovo Force (KFOR) 29 mission.

Upon arrival to Pristina, we exited the plane and walked single file across the tarmac into the welcome center. In this moment it finally hit me that we had arrived for a mission we had prepared over a year for. After a quick break, all the bags were loaded up, we got onto a bus and headed out. Vermont Soldiers are located in various locations across Kosovo Including Camp Bondsteel where we’re located.

Before coming to Kosovo, there was an expectation that the climate is similar to that of Vermont. Instead, we were hit with humidity and an unrelenting sun, better compared to the Southeastern United States or Vermont on one of its hottest, clearest summer days. During the bus ride we passed through several populated areas. There are active agricultural farms being sewed and watered with irrigation systems, restaurants with an American name and focus, and others with local foods and dishes. There are vegetable stands and lots of construction projects throughout the area.

We arrived at Camp Bondsteel after a 40-minute drive. Looming over the entirety of Bondsteel is Mount Ljunoten, or “Big Duke”, with its high jagged peaks that reach 8,196 feet in elevation. Standing at the top of a hill by the track you get a 360-degree view of Camp Bondsteel and the surrounding area. Through a constant haze you can see clusters of white buildings with red clay roofs nestled in the valley. The surrounding fields are rectangles of gold, like wheat, and lush green.

Our bags were neatly unloaded between one of the many rows of barracks buildings while we stood in line for room keys and schedules. Everyone grabbed their gear, found their rooms, and began to settle in. The rooms are either a small single or a larger room that could fit up to four soldiers. Provided in the rooms are beds, a fridge, wall lockers and desks. At the bottom of the barracks buildings and the open fields to the south towards Mount Duke is the heart of Camp Bondsteel. There are volleyball courts, soccer and softball games, ping pong, fitness facilities and the Morale Welfare and Recreational building that hosts various events helping Soldiers unwind.

After settling in we connected with our counterparts from KFOR28 and started to learn the ropes. They signed over office keys, showed us where to bring vehicles for maintenance, went over policies and procedures and showed us products from their rotation, so we could set our expectations. They provided details and information to ensure we hit the ground running.

We are excited and ready to begin our rotation officially known as KFOR29, and experience everything Kosovo has to offer. We will provide similar updates throughout our deployment, and you can always follow us on Facebook @172PAD, @86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - Mountain and @KFOR Regional Command East.

National Guard News
Maryland Army National Guard Sgt. Emmanuel Unaka, cyber threat intelligence analyst with Cyber Protection Team 169, listens to Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina Lt. Armin Kolašinac, a Security Operations Center member, during the Adriatic Regional Security Cyber Cooperation exercise at the Slovenian Armed Forces Baron Andrej Čehovin barracks in Postojna, Slovenia, July 5, 2024. The two-week cybersecurity training event included 60 representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Slovenia and North Macedonia and their National Guard State Partnership Program counterparts from New Jersey, Maryland, Minnesota, Iowa, Maine and Colorado, respectively.
Guard, International Partners Train on Cyber Skills in Slovenia
By Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy, | July 17, 2024
ARLINGTON, Va. – More than 140 National Guard members from six states worked alongside international partners in a cyber training exercise to expand interoperability and track and eliminate cyber threats.“It helps develop...

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Taylor Johnson, optometry specialist, 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard, conducts eye exams at the Tambacounda regional medical center in Tambacounda, Senegal, June 8, 2024. The Vermont National Guard was in Senegal for an annual medical readiness exercise with its State Partnership Program partner.
Vermont National Guard Enhances Medical Readiness in Senegal
By Sgt. Denis Nunez, | July 17, 2024
TAMBACOUNDA, Senegal - The Vermont National Guard has embarked on a critical mission to enhance medical readiness in its ranks and in Senegal as part of the MedRex medical exercise. This year’s operation spans three key...

U.S. Air National Guard Senior Airman Kolby Gries, 185th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces, looks through the sights of a M240B machine gun at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center near Alpena, Michigan, July 11, 2024. Security Forces Airmen of the Iowa Air National Guard were training on air base ground defense, urban tactical operations, weapons and equipment, and security forces procedures.
Iowa Air National Guard Security Forces Train in Michigan
By Senior Airman Tylon Chapman, | July 16, 2024
ALPENA, Mich. - Through heat, humidity and rain, Security Forces Airmen of the Iowa Air National Guard are training at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in Michigan.The Iowa ANG members are in Michigan to hone their...