The most modern F-35 fighter jets in North Macedonia, a demonstration of a strong alliance and a security guarantee for the NATO member-states

Two F-35 fighter jets of the Vermont National Guard flew over and landed at Petrovec Airport today, demonstrating the strong alliance and unity of the Alliance, as well as the nearly three-decade long partnership between the Army of North Macedonia and the Vermont National Guard, and the Alliance’s readiness to protect the security of its member states. The event was also attended by US Deputy Chief of Mission Eric Meyer and Lt. Col. John McRae of the Vermont National Guard.

The Minister of Defence Slavjanka Petrovska in a statement to the media said that the landing of F-35 aircraft on Macedonian territory is irrefutable proof that North Macedonia is part of something bigger than all of us and all allies with their facilities and capabilities stand behind our safety and the security of the Alliance.
“North Macedonia has been part of the NATO air policing mission for more than a year. This element of NATO integration in the national airspace for us is one of the most important activities of the military in peacetime operations. It is important to note that the airports in North Macedonia can provide support for the F-35 aircraft in carrying out various missions in NATO airspace”, said the Minister.

Petrovska also referred to the strategic partnership with the United States, as well as the partnership between the Army of North Macedonia and the Vermont National Guard, which lasts for almost three decades.
“These advanced fighter jets are part of the Vermont National Guard’s 134th Fighter Squadron. The partnership between North Macedonia and Vermont has always been an example of cooperation, friendship and mutual support”, said Petrovska.

Colonel John McRae of the Vermont National Guard said that no country alone has the resources to deal with all security challenges and that it is partnerships that give us the collective strength and wisdom to identify and work together to overcome threats to our own security.
“It is because of North Macedonia’s membership as a NATO ally that we can share in the security that comes from air policing missions and the rapid deployment of advanced capabilities on the F-35 platform, as demonstrated today”, said McRae.

McRae, pointing to the three-decade long relationship between Vermont and North Macedonia, said that North Macedonia also contributes to maintaining the readiness of the forces.
“North Macedonia provides NATO air forces training and resources through Petrovec Military Airport and Krivolak Training Area that we need to maintain our readiness. And NATO air forces, in turn, have a chance to train alongside your Air Ving and Army to ensure the present and future security of North Macedonia, the Balkan region, and Europe as a whole”, he underlined.
The F-35 is a single-seater, single-engine, multi-role fighter aircraft. The aircraft has electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The fifth-generation multi-role fighter is focused on establishing air superiority and carrying out air-to-ground missions.

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