Multinational exercise kicks off in Macedonia

  • Published
  • By Capt. Martha L. Petersante
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs
Members from seven multinational forces gathered in Macedonia June 6 to kick off the 2011 Medical Training Exercise in Central and Eastern Europe, or MEDCEUR 11.

MEDCEUR, an annual regional and multilateral exercise sponsored by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is held in the spirit of NATO's Partnership for Peace. The exercise is designed to provide medical training and operational experience in a deployed environment for U.S. and partner nations.

Col. Andreja Naumovski, the Macedonian co-director of MEDCEUR 11, said the opening ceremony aims, in the spirit of the Partnership for Peace initiative, to improve the medical response capabilities of the region, while also enhancing partnerships between the participating nations.

Working alongside members from the host country of Macedonia are forces from Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Norway. They will join members from the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, U.S. Army Europe and Marine Forces Europe to train and validate the medical readiness status of the expeditionary medical support system to support humanitarian assistance, disaster response and foreign consequence management functional plans. 

"This exercise is the culmination of more than one year of planning and preparation," said Col. Charles Tedder, the MEDCEUR co-director and 3rd Air Force command surgeon. "MEDCUER provides all of us a great opportunity to build partnerships, make friends and prepare us to face contingencies, natural or man-made, by developing interoperability with our partners."

The three NATO countries participating in MEDCEUR 2011 are working with Partnership for Peace countries who are working toward entry into the military alliance.

Gen. Maj. Naser Sejdini, the deputy chief of the general staff for the army of the Republic of Macedonia, welcomed all exercise participants to Macedonia during his opening remarks, and stressed that this is an important opportunity for those involved to validate their processes and interoperability.

The exercise will include both classroom and hands-on training, and will run until June 15.