| Lieutenant General Alfred Cardona Torres addresses the troops participating in Cooperative Longbow and Lancer 2012.
Photograph: Senior Airman Sarah Mattison 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont National guard
PEPELISHTE, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* - Lieutenant General Alfred Cardona Torres held a press conference at the army training area Krivolak in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* today for the commencement of NATO-led multi-national exercises Cooperative Longbow and Lancer 2012. Directly following was an opening ceremony where Chief of Defence of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Major General Gorancho Koteski and Deputy Minister of Defence Emil Dimitriev addressed the troops.
"The aim of both Exercise Cooperative Longbow and Lancer 12 is to train, exercise, and promote the interoperability of Partnership for Peace forces using NATO standards,” Lt. Gen. Torres said.
Participating in the two exercises from May 21-29are more than 2200 military men and women from various NATO countries as well as a dozen NATO Partnership for Peace (PFP) countries. Cooperative Longbow is to train headquarters-level military members to function during a NATO Crisis Response Operation. This includes logistics such as how to relocate and feed soldiers. Cooperative Lancer trains at a more physical level, and the nations integrate to coordinate patrols, security, and cordon and search drills.
Such training is pivotal between foreign nations where there are language and culture
Service Members participating in Cooperative Longbow and Lancer 2012 stand in formation while listening to an address by Lt. Gen. Alfred Cardona Torres.
Phtograph: Senior Airman Sarah Mattison 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont National guard
barriers which could limit the response time in a crisis. "Cooperation with other countries, as well as other organizations, is an absolute must,” Lt. Gen. Torres said. "The complexity of international crises requires comprehensive and regional approach where all the actors of the international crises community such as NATO, EU, and UN, for instance, play their part in cooperation with key regional players.”
During the ceremony, Mr. Dimitriev explained that Longbow and Lancer were important to the host country for a multitude of reasons. "Being a host of a complex joint exercise in the year when the Army of the Republic of Macedonia is celebrating its 20thanniversary and it's 10-year experience of active participation in international peace missions, represents a crown of
achievements and a confirmation ofthe gained trust, professionalism, and dedication.”
Senior Airman Victoria Greenia with the Vermont Air National Guard
* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia by its constitutional name.