Zaev leaves, US Army enters Macedonia for exercises during national holiday


Members of the American Army unit are arriving in Macedonia on Friday with 120 vehicles and engineer equipment for the joint exercise with Macedonia’s Army (ARM) ‘Dragoon Guardian 17’, set to run until 8 August at the training area ‘Krivolak’.

The aim of the exercise is improving the ARM interoperability with NATO standards, strengthening the ongoing partnership with the US and demonstrating the capabilities of both armies in providing help and support for the general population, officials of the Ministry of Defense and ARM told a press conference on Thursday.

Rapid decontamination, personal weapon introduction, shooting training, engineer construction of landing strip for unmanned aerial vehicle, clearing improvised explosive devices lanes are some of the activities that will be conducted during the exercise.

On Friday, Macedonia’s Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska and US Ambassador Jess Baily will address a formal ceremony in honor of the exercise onset, Lieutenant Colonel Toni Janevski told reporters.

Ninety-five members from ARM Engineer Battalion, unit within the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade and three hundred members of the 2 Cavalry Regiment of the US Army Europe (USAREUR) will take part in the exercise. Other ARM units will also take part in the exercise, mainly providing logistic support and military police security.

During the exercise, namely on 27-28 July, the ARM and US soldiers will organize community, i.e. display part of the equipment and the vehicles to citizens in Skopje, Stip and Veles. The Open Day for distinguished guests and media representatives is scheduled for 31 July.

The upcoming joint exercise ‘Dragoon Guardian 17’ is a result of the military cooperation between ARM and the US Army Europe.