Ambassador Baily Statement at Dragoon Guardian 2017 Observation Day

Krivolak Training Area

July 31, 2017

We’ve just been out here seeing our military partnership in action.  We’ve seen American soldiers and Macedonian soldiers working together on two specific tasks for engineers.  In any of our military operations, engineering is a critical component.  This is proving that our soldiers together are up to the task.  These kinds of activities also help engineers prepare not only for military operations, but also for those times when they are called in for humanitarian reasons.

This exercise did not begin here this week in Krivolak. It began with a series of training exercises back in Germany where your engineers worked with ours on building a very similar airstrip as you see behind here.  It has continued on through the movement of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment from Germany, down to Romania, Bulgaria and then to Macedonia.  So, this is a long process, but this is what our military partnership is about.  This is what this looks like.  And this is the kind of activity that we think helps advance Macedonia’s aspirations to join the NATO Alliance.

I know our soldiers have great respect for the Macedonian colleagues.  You could see that in the briefings they gave here.  It’s just a great day to be down here, and I want to thank the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, the Ministry of Defense, the Government of Macedonia for hosting our soldiers over these ten days.  Thank you.