CAF task force to NATO mission in Kosovo welcomes new Commander

three military members at a desk.
From left to right : Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Mills, Brigadier-General Janos Csombok, and Lieutenant-Colonel Pierre Ouellet.


By Captain Christopher Daniel, CJOC Public Affairs Officer

Lieutenant-Colonel Pierre Ouellet, a native of Roberval, Quebec, assumed command of Operation KOBOLD from Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Mills during a change of command ceremony in Pristina, Kosovo on October 19, 2017.

“I am honored and privileged to assume command of our task force on Operation KOBOLD. Lieutenant-Colonel Mills led his well-trained colleagues in maintaining a safe and secure environment in Kosovo,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Ouellet.

“I look forward to representing the Canadian Armed Forces with our NATO Allies in order to develop a capable Kosovo Security Force,” he added.

Hungarian Brigadier-General, Janos Csombók, Deputy Commander of the Kosovo Force (KFOR), presided over the ceremony at NATO’s KFOR headquarters in Pristina.

Operation KOBOLD is Canada’s contribution to the NATO-led peace-support operation working to develop a capable Kosovo Security Force. Canada is working with its NATO partners to ensure the continued peace and stability of Kosovo as the nation establishes democratic institutions.

“It was an honour for me to command this team of professional and dedicated Canadian Armed Forces members over the past six months on Operation KOBOLD,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Mills. “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of our Canadian contingent and I know the new team will continue to contribute to NATO’s success.”

Operation KOBOLD is made up of a small Task Force of four CAF personnel located in Pristina, Kosovo. These experienced CAF members serve in a variety of staff roles at the KFOR headquarters. Roles include assisting the development of the Kosovo Security Force, as well as coordinating logistical support for the NATO Force.

Canada has supported KFOR periodically since its establishment in June 1999. The CAF originally deployed a task force until June 2000 as part of Operation KINETIC. In August 2008, the CAF committed staff officers to KFOR headquarters, which continues to this day under Operation KOBOLD.

KFOR was established in June 1999 when NATO’s 78-day air campaign against Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, aimed at putting an end to violence in Kosovo, ended. KFOR derives its mandate from UNSCR 1244 (1999) and the Military-Technical Agreement between NATO, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia.

As of May 2017, KFOR comprises approximately 4,000 troops from 28 nations, of which 22 are members of NATO. It is organized as two multinational battle groups supported by a reserve battalion, a specialist unit, a joint logistics group and a headquarters. KFOR works closely with the European Union, especially the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, the United Nations, and many non-governmental organizations.

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