Camp Monteith

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A blindfolded KLA prisoner awaits interrogation at Camp Monteith, June 1999

Camp Monteith was a military base near Gnjilane, Kosovo[a] and located about 20 miles (32 km) east of Camp Bondsteel. A former Serb artillery outpost and 79 parcels of private land, the area was taken over by U.S. Marines and used as a base of operation during the Kosovo War of 1999. The camp was named after Jimmie W. Monteith, who received the Medal of Honor for heroism in France during World War II. At its peak, the camp housed 2000 soldiers and civilian contractors. Established in June 1999 to be used as a staging point for the bulk of US forces stationed in the Multi National Brigade-East. Initially occupied by U.S. Marines, over the past seven years successive rotations of U.S. Army forces have used the camp as part of NATO’s KFOR.

The base camp originally consisted of one main building, used as a command post and makeshift interrogation center, as well as a few small outbuildings that had been stripped by retreating Serb forces. The other buildings were destroyed previously by bombing during Operation Allied Force.

Initially U.S. Marines occupied the land during Operation Joint Guardian setting up camp around the main building in tents and in their vehicles, patrolling Gnjilane and the surrounding villages from Camp Monteith. In July 1999, Seabees, along with Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), began construction of more permanent structures, with plumbing and electricity including a vast number of semi-permanent barracks known as South East Asia huts (SEAhuts). The camp continued to be used by peacekeeping forces up until early 2006 when the remaining soldiers relocated to Camp Bondsteel. The camp was closed in March 2007 to U.S. personnel and as of July 2007 has been transferred to the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC).

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Notes:

a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.

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