Updated: Monday, 06 Dec 2010, 9:48 AM MST
Published : Friday, 03 Dec 2010, 6:29 PM MST
SANTA FE (KRQE) - About 450 New Mexico National Guardsmen are receiving orders for a one-year peacekeeping deployment to the troubled state of Kosovo in Eastern Europe, Guard headquarters announced Friday.
The deployment involves five Guard units from Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Roswell and Santa Fe. Additional details on the deployment and Yellow Ribbon departure ceremonies are expected to be released in coming weeks, according to a Guard spokesperson.
Kosovo, an independent republic since 2008, was formerly a province of Serbia within Yugoslavia. In the late 1980s Serbia launched a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against Kosovo bringing the military intervention of NATO supported by U.S. forces.
Today the U.S. State Department reports conditions continue to improve in Kosovo although NATO still maintains a presence it hopes to reduce to 5,000 troops by next spring.
The New Mexico units scheduled for deployment are: