Shekerinska – Schwartz: Intensifying cooperation between the Special Forces of the ARM and the Armed Forces of the United States

The Republic of Macedonia and the United States of America have comprehensive and continuous cooperation in the field of defence, and our joint commitment is to make that cooperation even more intense, especially in the part of the special forces of both armies, concluded on today’s meeting the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, and the Commander of the US Special Operations Command Europe, Major General Mark Schwartz.

Minister Shekerinska pointed out that after the improvement of the political situation in Macedonia the focus has been put on the strategic goals: NATO and EU membership. Shekerinska added that Macedonia remains committed to participating in international peacekeeping missions and joint exercise activities with NATO partners, which increases the capabilities and capacities of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.

“Our commitment to participating in NATO missions is not only declarative, and this is reflected in the increase of the ARM contingent in the “Resolute Support” mission by 20 percent”, the minister said at the meeting.

General Schwartz stressed the excellent cooperation with the ARM in the field of special forces and pointed out that the United States will continue in the future to support the ARM in the development of its capacities through various and relevant trainings. The General added that the United States highly values the participation of ARM members in the “Resolute Support” mission in Afghanistan and welcomed the decision to increase the number of ARM members in this mission in 2018.

In the context of future joint trainings and exercises, Minister Shekerinska expressed readiness for Military Range Krivolak to be used for joint exercises in the future as well.

During the visit, General Schwartz also met with the Chief of General Staff of the ARM, Lieutenant General Metodija Velichkovski, where they discussed the long-standing cooperation in the training, the joint participation in international exercises and the possibility of using the capacities of MR Krivolak for joint activities.

In the framework of the visit to the Republic of Macedonia, General Schwartz also visited the Special Operations Regiment Command of the ARM.

The Special Operations Regiment of the ARM and the US Special Operations Command Europe have cooperated since 1996 when the first joint training programs were implemented. In 2016 and 2017 the Regiment members took part in a number of exercises organized under the auspices of the United States, including “Sabre Junction 16″, “Anaconda 16″, “Combined Resolve 7″, “Combined Resolve 8″, “Allied Spirit 6″, ” Saber Guardian 17 “.