The American Bondsteel Camp in the unrecognized Kosovo received a new commander. As reported on Wednesday by the Serbian newspaper Blic, the new commander of the largest US base in Europe will be Colonel Nick Ducich, who previously trained soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for the war in Donbass.
The appointment of Ducich has aroused great interest in Serbia because the colonel's ancestors emigrated to the USA from Serbia.
"I am the first American officer of Serbian origin who commands the Multinational Military Group "Vostok." American troops under my command will continue to help develop a stable Kosovo," the colonel said in his first speech.
At the same time, one of the authoritative military experts in Serbia - Miroslav Lazansky - on the air of the national television said that he had no illusions about the origin of the American officer.
"Our people there very quickly assimilate, moreover, they want to prove their loyalty to America, so I do not expect anything from his appointment," the expert said.
Blic reports that from 2008 to 2010, Ducich worked in Ukraine, then in 2014 he completed his master's program at the University of Maryland as a nuclear engineer, and before that he studied at the California Polytechnic University. In 2011 and 2012, he made at least two business trips to Iraq, and after the outbreak of the military conflict in Donbass, Ducich returned to Ukraine, where he supervised a retraining program for the soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Donbads at the Yavoriv military testing ground in the Lvov region. At the same time, he served as commander of the 79th Infantry Brigade, which is part of the National Guard of California. It is noted that in 2017 he assisted Ukraine in establishing a military base in the west of the country.
During his business trip to Ukraine, Ducich was involved in a scandal involving the supply of old equipment to the Ukrainian Armed Forces under the guise of a new one, including many times appearing in the Ukrainian press, proving that the Pentagon supplied the "most reliable equipment" for the war in Donbass. In addition, in an interview with the Ukrainian edition of Obozrevatel in June 2017, Ducich told what kind of training he had conducted with the soldiers of the AFU.
"We learned the newest methods used by the enemy in order to understand how we could adjust training, we were an educational, adaptive structure that took this experience of combat scenarios and realities from Donbass and included them in the training plan within the framework of 55-day courses. Training consisted of individual and collective courses for the purpose of developing leadership qualities, teamwork and harmonious use of different types of weapons, the acquired experience has allowed to improve training programs in the training center in such areas as broad scale tactical maneuvers with forced march, fire training using air defense systems."
Ducich stated that the training center he had created would be fully operational by 2018, when "units of brigade levels can rotate here."
"At the brigade level, the Ukrainian troops are excellent, they were able to start integrating new weapons systems and correct some of the logistics shortcomings that were brought along to Donbass. I see that the Ukrainian armed forces and their capabilities are getting stronger every day, whether it is logistics or defense," the American said.
DONi News Agency