Iowa National Guard Sends Troops to Kosovo

More than 30 members of the Iowa National Guard are scheduled to embark on a nine-month peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. The deployment, which is part of a NATO peacekeeping operation, is set to begin on December 29th. According to KCCI, the guardsmen will be tasked with conducting live aerial medevac operations, refueling, and maintenance support for the United States and the Kosovo Security Forces.

A send-off ceremony will be held at the Waterloo Airport Army Aviation Support Facility to honor the soldiers as they prepare to depart for Kosovo. Iowa National Guard members have been stationed in Kosovo since 2003, and the relationship between Iowa and the European nation was recently reaffirmed during a visit by Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu in October.

Osmani-Sadriu was welcomed to the Iowa statehouse by Governor Kim Reynolds, highlighting the strong partnership that has developed between the two regions. The close relationship between Iowa and Kosovo dates back to 2011, when former Governor Terry Branstad signed a sister-state partnership with the country. Over the past two decades, more than 700 Iowa National Guard members have been deployed to Kosovo, further solidifying the bond between the two regions.

The upcoming deployment of 33 soldiers from the Iowa National Guard to Kosovo underscores the continued commitment to peacekeeping efforts in the region. The guardsmen will play a crucial role in providing support for NATO’s mission in Kosovo, further strengthening the ties between Iowa and the European nation.

As the soldiers prepare to embark on their nine-month tour, the community is invited to show their support for the troops during the send-off ceremony. The deployment represents a significant milestone in the enduring partnership between Iowa and Kosovo, and the guardsmen will carry on the tradition of service and cooperation that has defined the relationship between the two regions.

With a history of collaboration and mutual respect, Iowa and Kosovo are poised to continue their strong partnership through initiatives like the upcoming deployment of Iowa National Guard members. The shared commitment to peace and security underscores the valuable connection between the two regions, and the deployment serves as a powerful symbol of the enduring bond between Iowa and Kosovo.

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