Shekerinska in Vermont on meetings with Governor Phil Scott and Adjutant General of Vermont, Major General Steven Cray

As part of the official visit to the United States, Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska visited the State of Vermont where she met with Governor Phil Scott and the Adjutant General of Vermont, Major General Steven Cray.

The Vermont National Guard and the Army of the Republic of Macedonia have had an excellent cooperation for almost 25 years in the course of which more than 7,000 members of the Ministry and Army were introduced to the standards, tactics and techniques of operation of the National Guard, the US Armed Forces and the NATO Alliance.

At the meeting with Governor Scott, Minister Shekerinska expressed her gratitude for the support in the advancement of the cooperation between the ARM and the Vermont National Guard, which helped in the reform process of the ARM on the path towards attaining the NATO standards.

Shekerinska underlined that Macedonia’s place is in NATO, and that both the Government and the citizens are firmly committed to reaching this goal.

“The implementation of the reforms in the defence enhances the capacities and capabilities of the ARM in accordance with NATO standards, for which we receive great support from the US government, the State of Vermont and the Vermont National Guard”, said the Minister.

Minister Shekerinska and Adjutant General of Vermont, Major General Steven Cray agreed that the ARM partnership with the National Guard is one of the most successful examples of cooperation.

“For more than two decades, Macedonia and the United States have had defence cooperation based on a dynamic partnership, in favour of peace, freedom and security in broader terms”, said Shekerinska.

As one of the most positive examples, Shekerinska and Cray mentioned the interoperability of the ARM and the Vermont National Guard as part of Operation Phoenix, where in 2010 in Afghanistan, integrated teams from the National Guard and the ARM carried out the most complicated tasks side by side.

Minister Shekerinska expressed her expectations that the Vermont National Guard, which participated in many joint exercises in “Krivolak”, would participate in exercise “Cyber Guardian 19”, part of which will be held next year at the Krivolak military range.

Shekerinska also met Erica Bornemann, the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security – an area in which Vermont and Macedonia have been advancing their functional co-operation.