The President of the Republic of Macedonia and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Stevo Pendarovski, accompanied by the Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski, attended the open day for the citizens of Bitola, which is part of the planned activities of the military exercise “Decisive Strike”.
On the plateau in front of the House of Culture in Bitola, servicemen from the Special Operations Regiment and the Artillery Battalion, participants of the “Decisive Strike” exercise, presented a number of combat and non-combat motor vehicles, armaments and equipment engaged on this largest military exercise ever organized in the Republic of North Macedonia.
The occasion, on the pleasure of the citizens, the open day was enriched with a demonstration of martial arts, a helicopter extraction using the “Grozd” technique, alpine skills in evacuating injured civilians from high buildings carried out by the members of the Special Operations Regiment. Also, the Air Force Brigade performed a helicopter flight.
In his statement to the media President Pendarovski stressed that the displayed equipment, armament and personnel are part of the largest military exercise in the history of our country, with about 2,700 soldiers. He said that the presence of over 1,200 US troops is an indicator of the strategic partnership between the Republic of North Macedonia and the United States and that it is successful and efficient, which will contribute to achieving our biggest strategic goal that we had set in the nineties by the end of the year, which is our full membership in the NATO Alliance.
The Chief of General Staff, General Gjurchinovski emphasized that the large number of the citizens and the interest they express in this activity reflects the connection of the army with the civilian structures and confirms the trust that the Army has with the citizens.
Beside President Pendarovski and General Gjurchinovski, the acting US Ambassador Mikaela Schweitzer-Bloom, the Mayor of the Municipality of Bitola, Ms. Natasha Petrovska, the Commander of the Special Operations Regiment Brigadier General Metodija Hadzi-Janev and representatives of the Embassy the United States attended the event.
Attendees could, through direct communication with the servicemen of the armies, had an opportunity to become familiar with the equipment and procedures performed by the participants in the exercise.
Since the beginning of the exercise as part of the activities of civil military cooperation, besides the citizens of Bitola the citizens of Gevgelija, Sveti Nikole, Radovish and Strumica had the opportunity to get acquainted with some of the goods and equipment, and by the end of the exercise that opportunity tomorrow will have the citizens of Gostivar , and on July 5th the citizens of Skopje.
The “Decisive Strike” exercise conducted from June 5th to July 9th, 2019 at training area Krivolak, attended by around 2,700 soldiers from the armies of five other allies – the United States, Lithuania, Albania, Bulgaria and Montenegro aims in strengthening the standard operational procedures of the units, improving interoperability, promoting mutual understanding and confidence, and strengthening mutual cooperation.