KRIVOLAK TRAINING AREA, Republic of North Macedonia – A six-day comprehensive joint exercise has been executed by the Armed Forces of the Republic of North Macedonia and KFOR’s Multinational Battle Group East (MNBG-East).
Approximately 200 U.S. soldiers of MNBG-East and 50 personnel of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia participated in this live-fire training exercise which included numerous ground vehicles and helicopters.
On March 13, the exercise efforts and progress have been eye-witnessed during the distinguished visitors’ day by representatives coming from various entities such as the KFOR Commander, MNGB-East Commander as well as the NATO Liaison Office’s team and the Mayor of the town of Negotino.
The spokesperson of the General Staff of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia, Toni Janevski, underlined the exercise’ complexity and its importance saying: "We are starting a more dynamic plan for use of the Krivolak Training Area for this type of exercise, which includes fire support by artillery and helicopters.”
He added that the common efforts led to a level where Northern Macedonian Forces can equally contribute as a future NATO ally”.
"Our two mortar squads with the soldiers from NMBG-East provided fire support to the MNBG-East’s infantry unit. The exercise overall assessment is that our units procedures are compatible with NATO Allies”, Deputy Commander of the second Battalion from the First Brigade of North Macedonian Army, Major Goran Shutevski said.
Also from the MNGB-East perspective the achievements are remarkable. The Battle Group Commander, U.S. Army Colonel Roy Macaraeg, expressed his satisfaction while pointing out the forces’ readiness status and their interoperability with the U.S. military.
The event concluded with a joint press conference where the Chief of NATO Liaison Office Skopje, Slovenian Army Colonel Zoran Jankovic emphasized the valuable contributions to the Alliance in particular by providing the Krivolak training area.
"That facility has a great potential to host larger allied exercises. By proceeding the efforts, Northern Macedonia significantly contributes to security and stability in the Western Balkan region.”