Members of the First Infantry Brigade (1st IB) within the Operations Command, with a military ceremony and observance of measures and protocols to prevent the spread of the virus “Covid 19”, in the barracks “Strasho Pindzur” in Petrovec today marked the Day of the unit.
The Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski in his address to the 1st IB congratulated the members of the Brigade on their professionalism, quality and results in performing their tasks, noting that the citizens and the state leadership recognize these results.
In the coming period, said General Gjurchinovski, the Brigade will face a number of tasks, including continuing the assistance to the Ministry of Interior in dealing with the migrant crisis and securing the southern and part of the northern border, assisting institutions in dealing with the pandemic caused by “Covid 19”, as well as intensive exercise activities and training for which he expressed confidence that, as before, they will be performed successfully.
The Minister of Defence Radmila Shekjerinska emphasized: “If the Army is one body, then you are the heart, and even the spine of that organism. You are the nucleus, without which that organism can not exist and can not show its strength and its vitality. You have selflessly helped and are helping your colleagues in both the health sector and the police. You were and you are at the borders. Last year alone, you prevented 1,400 attempts to cross the border illegally. Therefore, yesterday the Government again made a decision declaring a state of crisis on our southern and northern borders.”
Shekjerinska also referred to the fact that the role of the First Infantry Brigade is crucial for our NATO membership, emphasizing that the battalion is trained to the highest standards, noting that members of this brigade are recognizable in various NATO peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and previously in Iraq.
The Commander of the 1st IB, Brigadier General Besnik Emini, emphasized that the Army is a pillar that radiates security, safety and stability for the citizens, urging the members of the brigade to be patient, resilient and masters of their profession, doing everything necessary to be up to the task.
Referring to the tasks and activities of the brigade, the commander said that the confidence given by the military leadership to the first brigade to be the bearer of the declared compositions that will be evaluated will be fully justified, and will be the symbol through which our defence force will be recognized in NATO.
Besides the Minister of Defence Radmila Shekjerinska and the Chief of the General Staff of the Army Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski, the ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Defence Bashkim Hasani, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Major General Azim Nuredin, the Director of the General Staff Zoran Mileski, the commander of the Operations Command, Major General Pavle Arsoski, the generals of the Army, representatives of the President’s Office, the MoD and commanders of the commands and units.
On this occasion, incentive measures for the achieved results were awarded to the members of the First Infantry Brigade.
The First Infantry Brigade is the main combat force of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, which provides ready forces for protection and support of national interests, and supports the civilian population in natural disasters, epidemics and other disasters, and outside the territory of the Republic of Macedonia participates in peace support operations, thus fulfilling international military obligations.
This largest unit in the Army includes members of several branches and services, and it is recognizable by the combat experience gained so far and participation in peacekeeping operations, the large number of exercises, high results of NATO assessments of the declared units of its composition, dealing with the challenges of the migrant crisis and assisting the institutions in dealing with the pandemic caused by “Covid 19”, but also by the selfless help that the members of this unit give to the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, whenever needed.
The brigade also includes the largest declared squad, the light infantry battalion, which is already preparing for the “Decisive Strike 21” exercise, as well as for the upcoming assessment next year. The members of the brigade are the main bearers of securing part of the southern and northern border in dealing with the migrant crisis, and have been there from its very beginning (5 years ago).
By decision of the Supreme Commander for determining the days of the units of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, April 2nd is designated as a day of the 1st IB, as the date on which this unit was transformed and took over the tasks and responsibilities of the two former brigades, thus becoming the largest combat unit in the Army.