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Kosovo Security Force

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Kosovo Security Force

Kosovo Security Force
Albanian: Forca e Sigurisë e Kosovës
Security Force Emblem
Security Force Flag
Founded January 21, 2009
Headquarters Pristina, Kosovo
Commander-in-Chief Atifete Jahjaga
Minister of the Kosovo Security Force Agim Çeku
Chief of staff Lt. Gen. Kadri Kastrati
Military age 18
Fit for
military service
818,716 [1], age 15–49
Active personnel 2,500[2]
Reserve personnel 800[2]
Budget €47,482,687 (2011)[3]
Percent of GDP 0.89% (2011)
Foreign suppliers  Albania
 United States
Related articles

Kosovo Liberation Army

Kosovo Protection Corps
Ranks Kosovo military ranks

The Kosovo Security Force (Albanian: Forca e Sigurisë së Kosovës, KSF) is an emergency response force charged with conducting crisis response operations in Kosovo and abroad and civil protection operations in Kosovo. Its main tasks are operations in the areas of Search and Rescue, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Firefighting, and Hazardous Material Disposal. However, it is also equipped with light weaponry, and the Kosovo government plans to transform it into an army. The Commander of the KSF is Lieutenant General Kadri Kastrati.

In March 2008, the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) and the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) started preparations for the formation of the Kosovo Security Force. According to guidance laid out in the Ahtisaari Plan, the security force is permitted to carry light weapons and the Government of Kosovo and the international community planned to bring the force in line with NATO standards. "The plan envisages that the security force be comprised of 2,500 active soldiers and 800 reservists at age 19-35." The admission and the training of personnel began in early June, when NATO experts arrived in Kosovo to guide the process.[4] From early December 2008, enlisting began for the Kosovo Security Force. The age of candidates is 18–30 years old.[5]


Following the Kosovo War in 1999, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 placed Kosovo under the authority of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), with security provided by the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). KFOR entered Kosovo on June 12, 1999 under a United Nations mandate, two days after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

Kosovo declared independence in February 2008. On 19 March 2008, [6]

On 4 January 2009, the names of those who were to be selected for the KSF from the KPC were announced. After being vetted by NATO, roughly 1,400 former members of the KPC were selected to serve as officers and rank and file members of the KSF.

On 21 January 2009, the Kosovo Security Force was officially launched. The KSF did not replace the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) which was disbanded several months later. KFOR was charged with mentoring the KSF and bringing the force to Full Operational Capability. As part of this effort, various nations that are part of KFOR have provided assistance to the force on a bilateral basis including uniforms which were supplied by the United States and vehicles which were donated by Germany. Mentoring efforts were meant to develop the KSF in line with NATO standards.[7][8][9] Additionally Italy, Portugal and other NATO members are to help the KSF by donations and training.[5][10][11] Slovenia donated €30,000 towards the establishment of the KSF.[9]

The following senior officers took their oaths on 16 June 2009, under the supervision of then KSF Commander Lieutenant-General Sylejman Selimi:[12]

  • Major-General Rrahman Rama – KSF Deputy Commander and Commander of Land Force Command
  • Major-General Kadri Kastrati – Director of Operations
  • Brigadier-General Bashkim Jashari – General Inspectorate of KSF
  • Brigadier-General Nazmi Brahimaj – Commander of Rapid Reaction Brigade
  • Brigadier-General Zymer Halimi – Chief of Operations and Training Department
  • Brigadier –General Imri Ilazi – Commander of Operations Support Brigade
  • Brigadier-General Enver Cikaqi – Commander of Training and Doctrine Command

On 15 September 2009 the Kosovo Security Force officially began the work, with its initial operational capacities after an eight month training with NATO instructors.[13]

In 2010, the KSF deployed to northern Albania on two separate occasions to perform flood relief operations in support of the Albanian domestic response.

On 22 November 2011, Lieutenant General Sylejman Selimi retired from the KSF and President Atifete Jahjaga appointed the former Director of Operations Major General Kadri Kastrati to succeed him as Commander of the force. President Jahjaga also promoted Kastrati to the rank of Lieutenant General.

On 9 July 2013 the Kosovo Security Forces reached Full Operational Capability (FOC) as determined by NATO.[14] While the general security situation has been improving on the ground, this lightly armed force responsible for civil protection operations and assisting civil authorities in responding to natural disasters and other emergencies has now trained to standards designated by NATO. The declaration of full operational capability on 9 July 2013 by the North Atlantic Council means that the KSF is fully capable of performing the tasks assigned to it within its mandate. The KSF will conduct non-military security functions that are not appropriate for the police. In more concrete terms, this force of approximately 2200 personnel will deal with search and rescue operations, explosive ordnance disposal, control and clearance of hazardous materials, fire-fighting and other humanitarian assistance tasks. Recruitment for the Kosovo Security Force started early 2009, once NATO had agreed (June 2008) to implement new tasks in addition to those agreed under UNSCR 1244. These new tasks included the standing down of the Kosovo Protection Corps, and the creation of the KSF and of a civilian structure to oversee it.

NATO’s role in the creation of KSF has therefore been two-fold: helping with its formation – standing up, recruitment and training; and the establishment of a civilian-led organisation to supervise and control the KSF. One of the principal aims was to encourage all minorities to enroll, so special attention was given to carrying out the recruitment process in two languages – Albanian and Serbian. The result has been a professional, multi-ethnic, all-volunteer force, which should continue to remain a source of regional stability.Following the declaration of full operational capability, NATO will continue to support the development of the KSF through the NATO Liaison and Advisory Team (NLAT), consisting of a mix of approximately 30 military and civilian personnel that will help with the professional development of the KSF, providing advice and support in a variety of areas such as capacity-building and training and leadership.[15]

Ethnic Minorities

Kosovo Security Force's Standard-bearer

Ethnic minorities of Kosovo are encouraged to enrol in the Kosovo Security Force with the Republic of Kosovo’s Constitution requiring the intergeneration of ethnic-minority communities into the Kosovo Security Force. In April 2013, 179 (8.2%) of the Kosovo Security Force's military personnel came from minority backgrounds with the rest being ethnic Albanians.[16] In May 2014, Kosovan President Atifete Jahjaga noted to the United Nations Security Council that 9% of the KSF were from minority communities.[17]

KSF Minorities[16]
Ethnicity Amount
Turks 54
Bosniaks 49
Ashkali 30
Egyptians 20
Serbs 16
Croats 5
Romani 3
Gorani 2

Kosovan Armed Forces

Members of the Kosovo Security Force

On 5 March 2014, Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi declared that the Kosovan government had decided to establish a Defence Ministry and by 2019, officially transform the Kosovo Security Forces into an Army which meets all the standards of NATO states with aim in joining the alliance in the future. The new Army will have a €65 Million annual budget and will be 5,000 strong with another 3,000 reservists, which will be composed of land forces, a national guard, logistics and training commands.[18][19][20] Kosovo's Security Forces Minister Agim Çeku stated that the Kosovo Armed Forces' mission will be "to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kosovo, its people and their property and protect the interests of the Kosovo Republic".[21] Kosovo's ambassador to Turkey, Avni Spahiu, stated that the "decision to establish an army has been taken in consultation with NATO and our partners... [and] the army will have a defensive character as Kosovo has no territorial aspirations".[22] On 28 May 2014, President Atifete Jahjaga told the United Nations Security Council that the creation of the Kosovan Armed Forces would be a long process, requiring the support and participation of all ethnic communities in Kosovo; she added that its purpose would be to contribute to overall security in the Balkans and called on all ethnic communities to take part in the process.[17] In November 2014, Agim Çeku stated that the Kosovo Army was running behind schedule "because of the delay in the constitution of the Kosovo parliament" but the decision to transform the Kosovo Security Force into an Army will be confirmed "at one of the first sessions upon its constitution"; he also noted that this transformation enjoys nationwide support and he doesn't expect any complaints from the political opposition.[23]

Mission statement

A member of FSK with Kosovo's flag at a military parade in the Netherlands

The Kosovo Security Force (KSF) is a new, professional, multi-ethnic, lightly armed and uniformed Security Force that is subject to democratic, civilian control. Its mission is to conduct crisis response operations in Kosovo and abroad; civil protection operations within Kosovo; and to assist the civil authorities in responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.

Such duties will include search and rescue operations; explosive ordnance disposal (de-mining and UXO removal); the control and clearance of hazardous materials; fire-fighting; and other humanitarian assistance tasks. The KSF will represent and protect all the people of Kosovo.

Ministry for the Kosovo Security Force: Mission Statement

The Ministry for the Kosovo Security Force (MKSF) is responsible for exercising civilian control over the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), including management and administration. It comprises a mixture of civilian and KSF personnel and is accountable, through the Prime Minister, to the Kosovo Assembly.

The mission of the MKSF, which is also the highest level KSF Headquarters, is to formulate, implement, evaluate and develop the policies and activities of the KSF within a framework of democratic governance and in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Kosovo.


Military rank insignias

radhë Gjenerallejtënant Gjeneralmajor Gjeneralbridage
rank Lieutenant General Major General Brigadier General
Staff Officers Officers
radhë Kolonel Nënkolonel Major Kapiten Toger Nëntoger
rank Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain First Lieutenant Second Lieutenant
Non-Commissioned Officers Enlisted Men
radhë Rreshter i parë Rreshter Major Kapter Rreshter Tetar Ushtar
rank Sergeant Major First Sergeant Staff Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Private
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Constitution and law

Weapons and equipment


Weapon Cartridge Country Manufactured Notes Picture
Glock 17[24] 9x19mm Parabellum  Austria standard side arm
Submachine guns
M84 Škorpion .32 ACP (7.65x17mm)  Yugoslavia
H&K MP5[24] 9x19mm Parabellum  Germany /  Turkey Several Variants
UZI / ERO 9x19mm Parabellum  Belgium /  Croatia /  Israel
Assault Rifles
AK-47 / AKs-47 7.62x39mm  Albania /  Soviet Union
AKM / AKMS 7.62x39mm  Albania /  Soviet Union
Type 56 / ASH-82 7.62x39mm  Albania /  People's Republic of China
Zastava M70 7.62x39mm  Yugoslavia
AK SOPMOD 7.62x39mm  Israel Israeli Modified
AK's of all variants.
M16 5.56x45mm NATO  United States
H&K G36[24] 5.56x45mm NATO  Germany Standard Service Rifle
Zastava M59/66 7.62x39mm  Yugoslavia Ceremonial & Cadet rifle
M4 SOPMOD 5.56x45mm NATO  United States
Grenade Launchers
M203 40x46mm grenade  United States Attaches to rifle
H&K AG36[24] 40x46mm grenade  Germany Attaches to rifle
Metallic RBG-6 40x46mm grenade  Croatia Automatic
Sniper Rifles
PSL 7.62x54mmR  Albania /  Romania
Dragunov SVD 7.62x54mmR  Albania /  Soviet Union
Zastava M76 7.92x57mm  Yugoslavia
Zastava M91 7.62x54mmR  Yugoslavia
Zastava M93 12.7×108mm & .50 BMG  Yugoslavia
APR 7.62×51mm NATO   Switzerland
RPG-7 40mm rocket  Albania /  Soviet Union
M72 LAW 66mm rocket  United States /  Turkey
M80 "Zolja" 64mm rocket  Yugoslavia
M79 Osa 90mm rocket  Yugoslavia
General Purpose Machine Guns
RPK / ASh-78 (Tip-2) 7.62x39mm  Albania /  Soviet Union
PK 7.62x54mmR  Albania /  Soviet Union
RPD 7.62x39mm  Albania /  Soviet Union
Zastava M72 7.62x39mm  Yugoslavia
Zastava M84 7.62x54mmR  Yugoslavia
Heavy Machine Guns
Browning M2 12.7x99mm NATO  United States
DShKM 12.7x108mm  Albania /  Soviet Union
Armoured vehicle
Otokar Cobra [25] Armoured vehicle  Turkey Armoured vehicle


  1. ^ CIA World Factbook - Kosovo
  2. ^ a b "Law on the Kosovo Security Force". 13 March 2008. p. 6. 
  3. ^ Ministry Budget 2011/
  4. ^ Security forces to be formed in Kosovo,, March 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Enlistment in Kosovo Armed Forces begins January in Gjilan" 05 December 2008. Link accessed 21-01-09
  6. ^ Bush OKs supplying arms to Kosovo, AFP, March 19, 2008.
  7. ^ "Lt. Gen. Selimi appointed as Chief of Staff of KSF" 20 December 2009. Link accessed 21-01-09
  8. ^ "Kosovo's security force launched" 21 January 2009. Link Retrieved 21-01-09
  9. ^ a b "Kosovo: Security or militarisation?" 21 January 2009. Link retrieved 21-01-09
  10. ^ "Italy to support the establishment of Kosovo armed forces" 24 December 2008. Link accessed 21-01-09
  11. ^ "Portugal to assist the establishment of Kosovo Army" 20 December 2008. Link accessed 21-01-09
  12. ^ Ministry Press Release, 16 June 2009, Pristina
  13. ^ "FSK nis zyrtarisht punën" (in Albanian). Pristina, Kosovo: Gazeta Express. September 18, 2009. Retrieved September 18, 2009. 
  14. ^ "NATO Secretary General statement on Kosovo Security Force reaching Full Operational Capability". 
  15. ^ "The Kosovo Security Force now self-sustainable". 
  16. ^ a b "MINISTRY FOR THE KOSOVO SECURITY FORCE NEWSLETTER April 2013 (Page 3)". April 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  17. ^ a b ""Kosovo precedent created new hotspots"". B92. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Kosovo to create national army of 5,000 soldiers". Reuters. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Kosovo to Have Army by 2019". 5 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Kosovo to build its first national army". Euronews. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Kosovo to Have Armed Forces by 2019". Balkan Insight. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "Kosovo to form army 15 yrs after war, Serbia reacts". Turkish Weekly. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  23. ^ ""Kosovo will soon have its army"". B92. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c d
  25. ^ Turkey: Kosovo, Should have Military like every region state

External links

  • Ministry for the Kosovo Security Force
  • PDF document of the Law of the Kosovo Security Force
  • KSF Cleans terrain from mines
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