Wisconsin brigade takes command of MNBG-E mission

Dec. 10, 2011

By 172nd Public Affairs Detachment, MNBG-E KFOR-15

  • Wisconsin Brigade Takes Command of MNBG E Mission

    MNBG E Transfer of Authority Ceremoney, Dec. 10. Photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Jim Wagner

  • Wisconsin Brigade Takes Command of MNBG E Mission

    MNBG E Transfer of Authority Ceremoney, Dec. 10. Photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Jim Wagner

  • Wisconsin Brigade Takes Command of MNBG E Mission

    MNBG E Transfer of Authority Ceremoney, Dec. 10. Photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Jim Wagner

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - A Wisconsin Army National Guard brigade assumed responsibility of Multinational Battle Group East during a formal ceremony at Camp Bondsteel Dec. 10.

The 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, based out of Milwaukee, Wis., joined 12 other National Guard units and one Army Reserve unit from throughout the United States and Puerto Rico as part of Kosovo Force 15.  They assumed responsibility from the New Mexico Army National Guard's 111th MEB, based out of Rio Rancho, N.M., which arrived in April.

The Kosovo Force Commander, German Army Maj. Gen. Erhard Drews, transferred responsibility of MNBG E from Col. Michael D. Schwartz, commander of the 111th MEB, to Col. Jeffrey J. Liethen, 157th MEB commander.

"As you know, we are one of many U.S. KFOR rotations," Liethen said at the ceremony.  "Through the years, KFOR rotations have changed, just as Kosovo has changed, but one thing remains the same, our collective commitment to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement throughout Kosovo.

"I want to take this opportunity to emphasize that as commander, my objective is to continue to build upon the work done by the soldiers of KFOR 14 and their predecessors," he added.  "We look forward to working with our multinational partners and continuing to maintain a safe and secure environment for the people of Kosovo."

Schwartz spoke of the outstanding relationship forged between the many nations in the battle group.

"As I have said many times before to our soldiers, our multinational partners are not part of the battle group, they are the battle group," he said.  "Without any one member, our mission would have been much more difficult.  Together, as a single organization, we accomplished many remarkable feats.  We are truly a more mobile, capable force than ever before."

Drews also gave remarks at the ceremony.

"I know that the future of Multinational Battle will be in very capable hands," Drews told Liethen. "I am more than convinced that you will lead Multinational Battle Group East in the same outstanding manner as did Col. Schwarts"

The U.S. contingent of MNBG E is comprised of approximately 700 troops from 10 states and one U.S. territory.  (See below for a breakdown of the units)

Multinational partners in MNBG E include France, Germany, Hellas (Greece), Morocco, Poland, Turkey, Armenia and Ukraine.

KFOR 15's yearlong deployment began in September at Camp Atterbury, Ind. and U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels, Germany, where they received training on the tasks they would perform in Kosovo. 

MULTINATIONAL BATTLE GROUP EAST U.S. UNITS

Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 157th MEB, Wisconsin (ARNG)

3rd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, Georgia (ARNG)

221st Military Intelligence, Georgia (ARNG)

230th Finance Company, Mississippi (ARNG)

3274th U.S. Army Hospital, North Carolina (USAR)

1969th Contingency Contracting Team, Nebraska (ARNG)

172nd Public Affairs Detachment, Vermont (ARNG)

1st Squadron, 112th Aviation Battalion, North Dakota (ARNG)

Bravo Company, 1st Squadron, 150th Assault Helicopter Battalion, New Jersey (ARNG)

Det. 3, Bravo Company, 777th Aviation Support Battalion, Wyoming (ARNG)

Foxtrot Company, 2nd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, Wisconsin (ARNG)

Det. 1, Bravo Company, 248th Aviation Support Battalion, Wisconsin (ARNG)

387th Explosive Ordinance Detachment, Massachusetts (ARNG)

Puerto Rico Joint Force Headquarters, Puerto Rico (ARNG)

461st Human Resource Command (Postal), Georgia (ARNG)                     

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