Shekerinska – Knight: Vermont crowns the friendship and cooperation with NATO and the US

The cooperation between our Army and the National Guard of Vermont crowns the cooperation between our country and the United States, concluded at today’s meeting Minister of Defense Radmila Shekerinska and the Commander of Vermont National Guard, Adjutant General Gregory Knight, who is paying a several-day visit to the Republic of North Macedonia.

The visit of Vermont National Guard Commander coincides with 18 August, the Army Day, in a year when we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the beginning of cooperation between the two armed forces, but also a year in which we are counting the days to our full-fledged membership in NATO.

In this context, Minister Shekerinska expressed her satisfaction with the exceptionally developed cooperation through which both armed forces developed and matured together, she said.

“After a quarter of a century, facts and figures speak of a very close and very constructive partnership. During this 25-year period, nearly 5,000 members of our Army and the Ministry of Defense have participated in training, education, and consultations with Vermont National Guard. This year alone we have 16 joint activities in the field of human resources, in the field of military medicine and in the field which is very important for us as a state, and that is natural disaster management” the Minister underlined. She added that our future leaders and officers, currently cadets at the Military Academy, have a chance to spend a semester at the prestigious Norwich University of Vermont, which is also an example of the success of the collaboration.

The Minister also mentioned the recently completed “Decisive Strike” exercise, where in addition to the armed forces of our state, the US National Guard Pennsylvania and four other NATO member states participated, an exercise which she said was the largest ever on our soil, and justified the confidence that both the Alliance and the United States have entrusted in us. She added that the co-operation continues at present through joint investment in the capacities of the Krivolak Training Area.

Vermont National Guard Commander Knight underlined that he was impressed with the excellence, the work ethic and the positive qualities he has seen in the members of our Army. He expressed his satisfaction with the number of activities carried out over the past 25 years and announced further intensification of the cooperation.

“Even though we have done a lot in these 25 years, I share Ambassador Burns’s enthusiasm for future plans and future activities that we have in mind. We are here and we always support your NATO membership and look forward to seeing you as the 30th member in the alliance of equals. In my role as Adjutant General in the next period, I plan to raise the level of co-operation and bring it to the next level” Knight said, adding that the co-operation will also be developed in the civilian sector, i.e. it will be completed as comprehensive cooperation at the level of the two countries.

During his visit, Adjutant General Knight met with his host, the CHOD of the Army General Vasko Gjurchinovski and the two army delegations also had a meeting.