Start of the Decisive Strike exercise: Deputy Minister of Defence Maksuti at the opening

Over 2 700 members from the armies of six countries, the host North Macedonia, the United States, Albania, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Lithuania from today until the ninth of July will be a part of the biggest ever exercise organized in our country, Decisive Strike will promote the preparedness and mutual interoperability, a key capability of all armies in the Alliance.

At the opening of the exercise at the Training Area “Krivolak”, Deputy Minister of Defence, Bekim Maksuti said that this, so far the largest exercise organized by our army is happening at the right time when our country is extremely proud of our achievements and the Alliance is welcoming a sincere and dedicated ally.

“We are allies that firmly believe in the values of the Alliance and know how to fight for democracy, freedom, equality, the rule of law. An ally that has experienced how it feels to have those values devaluated and knows that living and practicing these values is the basis for the development of a modern, democratic, European society”, said Maksuti.

Deputy Minister Maksut told the soldiers and the participants at the exercise, to as dedicated as they could, to be open to each other, for they are allies, part of the same Alliance. Regarding the Training Area Krivolak, he said that this training area offers all the conditions for conducting exercises in real conditions.

The acting US Ambassador Micaela Schweitzer Bloom thanked and congratulated the Army for organizing the exercise.

“Exercises like Decisive Strike play an important role in strengthening our common security. They allow our armies to be able to communicate and conduct joint operations. They connect our troops, building mutual understanding and personal relationships that last, and make us even stronger”, said Schweitzer Bloom.

The Commander of the Joint Operational Command (JOC), Gen. Pavle Arsoski gave recognition to all officers involved in the preparation and organization of the exercise. According to him, Decisive Strike is the best proof of the readiness and interoperability of our Army with the Allies.

The Director of the exercise, Colonel Igor Manasovski informed that the planning process for the exercise preparation lasted 16 months, with 80 officers and NCOs from six participating countries.

The Decisive Strike exercise started today and will be conducted at the Training Area Krivolak until the ninth of July.