At the Army Home today, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia and Supreme Commander of the Army, Stevo Pendarovski, was informed by the Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski, on the situation and combat readiness of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia in 2020.
The first briefing about the combat readiness after the full membership in NATO was attended by the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, the generals in the Army and representatives of the Cabinet of the President’s and the Ministry of Defence.
During the briefing, President Pendarovski was briefed on the situation in the Army in the following functional areas: personnel management and morale, operations, training and exercises, providing logistics, planning, signals and communications, budgeting and civil-military cooperation. In addition, the planned and realized activities regarding the training, engagement of the Army in assistance to the institutions dealing with “Covid-19″, the course of the transformation and integration processes that are taking place in accordance with NATO standards and the other segments of the work of the units that influence combat readiness, were stressed.
General Gjurchinovski emphasized that with special commitment and professionalism of all members of the Army, all assigned tasks are also being realized in support of the institutions that are dealing with the epidemiological crisis caused by the “Covid-19″ virus, the preparations and participation in international operations is being carried out successfully and that the fulfilment of all planned tasks related to full integration into the NATO structure will continue at an unrelenting pace.
The increase of combat readiness in the current year was emphasized, especially in the field of morale of the members of the Army, based on the improvement of living standards and accommodation and working conditions through the renovation of facilities in the barracks.
Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska said that as a NATO member, North Macedonia has an obligation to not only achieve but to also advance NATO standards in step with the allies, and that means constant investment in the Army’s combat readiness. She stressed that the priority is to invest in human potential, the influx of young soldiers whose motivation was compelled by improved conditions, higher salaries and the modernization of the Army. The continuous increase of the defence budget by 0.2% in the last 3 years, with the goal of reaching 2% of GDP by 2024, enables this – the Minister said.
“Strengthening the Army’s combat readiness is our national and NATO priority. The Light Infantry Battalion will grow into a Light Infantry Battle Group in a few years. The primary focus in building this NATO capability is manning, equipping and trainings. The high level of combat readiness is also demonstrated every day by our peacekeepers engaged in peace support operations”, said Minister Shekerinska.
The President and Supreme Commander, Stevo Pendarovski, in his address to the participants in the briefing, stressed:
“The past 2020, with all the challenges it has brought us, is historic for the Army, due to the membership of the Republic of North Macedonia in NATO, an act that fulfilled one of our main strategic goals as a state, and valorised the overall efforts of the members of the defence from the independence to this day.
As the Supreme Commander I am proud of the high professionalism and commitment shown by the members of the Army in the past year as well. The declared state of crisis once again confirmed the readiness of the Army to respond quickly to the needs of the institutions and to provide support when needed.
Investment in modernizing and equipping the Army must continue. One of my main priorities remains in the coming years to reach the set goal, to allocate 2% of GDP for the defence.”
The Combat Readiness Briefing is a planned annual obligation of the Chief of General Staff to the President of the Republic of North Macedonia and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.