Showcasing Canada in Kosovo
Article by: Commander Anthony Thys & 23780 Major Kristjan Hjalmarson
It was an all-encompassing Canada Day celebration for five Task Force Pristina (TFP) Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members deployed on Operation KOBOLD in Kosovo. The tri-service Canadian contingent, in concert with the Canadian Ambassador to Kosovo, Mr. Daniel Maksymiuk, hosted three distinct events throughout Kosovo’s capital city, Pristina, from 29 Jun – 01 July.
A reception coordinated by the Canadian Embassy was held in Pristina on 29 Jun and was attended by the President of Kosovo, Mr. Hashim Thaçi. The Canadian ambassador lauded Canada-Kosovo international cooperation, future bilateral opportunities, and thanked the CAF for its contributions in the region.
Caption: s23780 Major Kris Hjalmarson (second from the left) with Canadian Ambassador, Mr. Daniel Maksymiuk (far right) at a Canada Day Reception hosted by the Canadian Embassy. Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Canada in Zagreb, Croatia
TFP hosted an early Canada Day gathering at Kosovo Force (KFOR) Headquarters at Camp Film City on 30 Jun, showcasing Canadian culture to about 80 different people from 20 NATO countries, and 9 Non-NATO countries. Activities at the Canadian National Support Element, “Canada House” included a Newfoundland tradition of Screeching-in, Quebec-style poutine tasting, introduction to hockey, Canadian trivia, and of course, moose milk. This event was joined by the Ambassador, as well as the Commander of KFOR, Major General S. Cuoci.
Caption: Commander of Task Force Pristina, Cdr A. Thys, offers a ‘cod’ to NATO soldiers as they are Screeched-in as part of 2018 Canada Day celebrations at Camp Film City in Pristina, Kosovo. Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Canada in Zagreb, Croatia
Alongside other KFOR participating nations on 01 July TFP put on a hockey demonstration, providing the opportunity for some 2000 visitors and children from the local communities to shoot with a hockey stick for the very first time. The visitors were happy to receive small Canadian souvenirs, such as flags, maple candies and maple cookies thanks to the incredible support from MFRC and PSP staff in Ottawa.
Caption: Canadian Ambassador, Mr. Daniel Maksymiuk showing a local Kosovan child how to shoot with a hockey stick at KFOR International Day. Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Canada in Zagreb, Croatia.
Operation KOBOLD is a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mission in Kosovo. Five CAF members provide logistical, communications information systems (CIS), and headquarters support to KFOR — a NATO-led peace-support operation.