RELEASE NUMBER: 140610-01
DATE POSTED: JUNE 10, 2014
US CA Soldiers train Kosovo units
PRISTINA, Kosovo (USASOC News Service, June 10, 2014) – Twenty-five Kosovo Security Forces’ personnel completed a seven-day Civil Support Operations course taught by U.S. Soldiers assigned to U.S. Embassy Pristina, May 12-20, 2014.
The four-person Civil Affairs Team from Company B, 92nd Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (A), Fort Bragg, N.C., are here on a 10-month deployment to work with specific KSF units in initial civil affairs concepts and operations as well as conduct Humanitarian Assistance Operations.
“Being a part of the course with a professional force makes it easy,” said Capt. Charles Noble the team leader for the Civil Military Support Element at the U.S. Embassy in Pristina and a native of Lima, Ohio.
According to Noble, the CMO exchange was directly in support of the U.S. Embassy’s Integrated Country Strategy and European Command’s Country Cooperation Plan.
“They were attentive and receptive to the concept," Noble said. “The course was designed to empower the respective units to provide these operational concepts to their subordinates.
According to Noble, the KSF attendees now have a basic concept of how civil military cooperation [CIMIC] and CMO operate, especially applied to a deployed environment and are in line with the KSF’s Core Tasks.
“It is important because our Soldiers have gained a lot of knowledge that we did not have before,” said Sgt. Maj. Bekim Zogaj, senior enlisted leader, Civil Protection Regiment, KSF and a native of Drenas, Kosovo. “These students, we expect them to pass this onto their subordinates. This knowledge will also benefit our deployment capabilities.”
The KSF units that participated in the training were the 15 members of their Search and Rescue Company and the 10 troops from their Liaison Unit for Crisis Response.
Each graduate had to instruct one class to demonstrate their understanding of CIMIC concepts as well as show their ability to provide self-sustained instruction to the remainder of their assigned unit personnel and they were each required to participate in all the practical exercises.
“I was a student,” said KSF 1st Lt. Agron Murati, platoon leader, Task Force Search and Rescue and a native of Pristina, Kosovo. “I learned about CIMIC and how to study a country before we deploy. We will use this knowledge when we deploy. We learned how to negotiate and mediate with key leaders. We were also taught gender awareness, cultural sensitivities and traditions and how to work with interpreters and working with nongovernmental organizations. And how to support the civilians when we deploy, also how to support a government of a country that we deploy to.”
The KSF Search and Rescue unit is trained in underwater diving, firefighting, urban search and rescue, mountain search and rescue and vehicle accident response. They are the last resort if local first responders need further assistance.
“It was very important for us to learn about the experiences from the U.S. Soldiers,” Murati said. “We are planning to put this type of knowledge to pass onto our subordinates. This was the first time I received CIMIC training and after we were taught a subject, we then turned around and re taught it to our class to learn how to instruct civil military operations to others. This will be very helpful in the future.”
CIMIC officer Lt. Col. Kristian Bueveng from the Swedish Armed Forces, who is the civil military relations advisor to the KSF under the NATO advisory team, also worked alongside the U.S. Soldiers during the KSF’s CMO exchange.
“This experience provided them an additional opportunity to a multinational perspective,” Noble said. “This will enhance their understanding of joint and coalition operations if they work with a NATO force during a future deployment.”
“Time involved will yield good results in the long run,” Noble added.