Petrovska on the “SWIFT RESPONSE – 22” exercise DV Day: When you are NATO you are not alone

Today, the DV Day for the multinational exercise “Swift Response 22” was held at TA Krivolak, where airborne operations were presented followed by parachuting, helicopter and ground activities of the members of the armed forces of the US, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Montenegro, Greece, Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia.

As part of today’s activity, Minister of Defense Slavjanka Petrovska addressed the attendees and emphasized that the “Swift Response 22” exercise demonstrated its capacities for excellent planning, training and joint coordination and action.

“What we saw and witnessed today was not defiance of power and a demonstration of military force, but a demonstration of our unity, our aaliance. The soldiers from the armies of North Macedonia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Montenegro, Albania and Greece have shown what collective readiness and perfect interoperability mean. “In fact, they sent the most important message: when you are NATO, you are not alone,” Petrovska said.

In that context, Petrovska added that in the NATO Alliance, there are no small and big countries, no first and last, no competition for elimination, but an extended hand and allied support.

In her address, Minister Petrovska also referred to TA Krivolak, emphasizing that her personal priority will be for this training range to continue to develop, which will contribute to a strong Alliance as the pillar of our democracies.

“We should continue to develop TA Krivolak in accordance with the training needs of the members of our Army, but of course, it will also offer specific training segments that will be used by our allies and strategic partners. “I see this as another incredible opportunity for all our allied countries and armies to strengthen the capacities of joint work for even better mutual acquaintance and creation of mutual trust that leaves no room for any doubt,” said Petrovska.

At the end of her address, Minister Petrovska thanked the United States Army Europe and Africa Deputy Commander, Major General Peter Andrysiac, for his efforts in organizing this exercise, and Brigadier General Nicholas Cowley of the United Kingdom Army for his commitment and the dedication of his troops in this exercise, to the allies – France, Italy, Spain, Albania, Montenegro and Greece for their contribution to this remarkable display of unity and strength, and to Brigadier General Stephen Lambrecht of the Vermont National Guard, with whom we look forward to our next collaboration.

US Army for Europe and Africa Deputy Commander, Major General Peter Andrysiak, in his address to the audience said that almost 10,000 members of the NATO Allied Forces are involved in this exercise which is carried out simultaneously in the Baltic, Norway, and here in “Krivolak” in North Macedonia where most of the exercise with the largest number of troops takes place.

“Exercises such as Swift Response are vital to our combined readiness and interoperability – and would not be successful without the strong partnership we have with our trusted NATO ally – North Macedonia,” said General Andrusiak.

General Andrusiak added that such exercises show that the US Army for Europe and Africa serve as a strategic security partner in the Balkan and Black Sea regions and at the same time thanked all the allies participating in the exercise and the citizens of North Macedonia.

The Commander of the UK 16th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Brigadier General Nicholas Cowley, also addressed the present and thanked our country for being a great host with an excellent training ground that allows them to practice different types of training to show their readiness and to show that they are ready for NATO-led operations. He said that during the exercise what was extremely important was the fact that they worked together with eight other NATO countries, thus showing that they could react as NATO within a short period of time.

The DV Day was attended by the President of the Republic of North Macedonia and Commander-in-Chief of the Army Stevo Pendarovski, the Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski, MPs, the Ambassadors of the US, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Albania and Montenegro, Generals in the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia, senior military and civilian representatives of the Armed Forces and the Ministries of Defense of the countries participating in the exercise and NATO, Defense Attachés accredited to the country and other guests.

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