US Army AH-64 Apache gunships fly by during the NATO exercise ‘Swift Respone 22’ at the Krivolak training range in North Macedonia. Photo by EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI North Macedonia Hosts Big NATO ExerciseSinisa Jakov MarusicSkopjeBIRNMay 12, 202214:34 Held in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NATO’s newest member on Thursday hosted a big NATO military drill, called Swift Response, with the presence of armed forces from several allied countries.
Some 4,600 soldiers from eight NATO allies, plus North Macedonia, participated at today’s military drill in North Macedonia dubbed Swift Response 22.
The drill was held at the country’s biggest military training range, Krivolak, with the participation of soldiers from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Montenegro, Albania, Greece as well as the host, North Macedonia.
British soldiers taking part in the NATO exercise ‘Swift Response 22’, at the Krivolak Army Training Range in North Macedonia. Photo by EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI
Some 10,000 soldiers from 19 countries have been taking part in NATO’s“ Swift Response” exercises in North Macedonia, held as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues.
The combined exercise in North Macedonia features parachute jumps by airborne units, helicopter landings as well as close air support of ground units.
The exercises are takig place in five countries, ranging from Norway to North Macedonia. NATO allies “have demonstrated what collective security and interoperability means, sending the most important message, that no one is alone in NATO,” North Macedonia’s Defence Minister, Slavjanka Petrovska, said at the training ground.
US Army helicopters UH-60 Blackhawk fly by during the NATO exercise ‘Swift Response 22’ at the Krivolak Army Training Range. Photo by EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI
North Macedonia, whose army consists of some 8,000 troops, small compared to many of its allies, was the latest country to join the Alliance in 2020 as its 30th member state.
“This military drill is particularly important for the development of the capacities of our own army, through sharing of knowledge, capabilities and skills,” North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski, who also observed the exercises, said.
Italian paratroopers jump from a C-130 transport aircraft. Photo: EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI
North Macedonia is unlikely to remain the latest country to join NATO for long.
Finland and Sweden are expected to pursue a swift route to membership in light of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and would add significant military capacity to the alliance.
NATO A-10 Thunderbolt ground support plane flies by during the NATO exercise ‘Swift Response 22’, at the Krivolak Army Training Range in North Macedonia. Photo: EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI
British Army helicopter CH-47 Chinook carries an artillery unit at the training range in Krivolak, North Macedonia. Photo: EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI
British soldiers take part in the NATO exercise ‘Swift Response 22’ at Krivolak Army Training Range in North Macedonia. Photo: EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI
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