VITINA, Kosovo – U.S. military personnel from Kosovo Regional Command East helped the town of Vitina/Viti observe World Environment Day by planting flowers and trees and picking up trash June 5.
Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers from KFOR RC-E’s Liaison Monitoring Team (LMT) “Kilo 20” and Maneuver Battalion, deployed to Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian, participated in the annual beautification effort in the town square and along a nearby creek.
“We were invited by the mayor of Vitina,” said 2nd Lt. Phillip Milam, Kilo 20 commander. “This is one of the first big events we have done since the COVID pandemic started and we are excited to help while maintaining safety measures.”
The RC-E Soldiers worked alongside Mayor Sokol Haliti as well as fire department, police and Kosovo Security Force personnel. Haliti said the city holds the event every year.
“I’m very happy to see all the different people that came out to support this year,” said Haliti. “It’s very exciting.”
LMT personnel maintain and strengthen relationships within their designated municipalities. Maneuver Battalion personnel have a different mission of providing patrolling operations in support of maintaining a safe and secure environment in Kosovo.
Spc. Sergio Ibarra Bolanos of Delta Company, 2-162 Infantry Battalion, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, volunteered with three other Maneuver Battalion Soldiers to participate in the area beautification.
“It’s great to be in the community and help out,” Ibarra Bolanos said. “It’s great to see other people from Regional Command East and get perspective on what they do.”
Despite their unique missions and capabilities, KFOR RC-E Soldiers combine efforts with local institutions to support the communities in Kosovo.
“We’re in this together – KFOR, the municipality, the youth, the police and the fire department,” said Milam. “At the end of the day, we all want what’s best for the people in Kosovo and this area.”