Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ceremonious dispatching of ARM's contingent to Afghanistan

The contingent comprised of the members of the 2nd mechanized infantry company of ARM received ceremonious greeting today in the Mihajlo Apostolski Barracks in Ohrid.

The 126 Macedonian troops will be deployed within the British contingent in Kabul to join NATO's Afghanistan mission (ISAF). This is a second rotation of Macedonian peacekeepers participating in ISAF.

The advance guard of the second contingent to Kabul will leave tomorrow, while the remaining troops will follow on 11 January.

Sergeant Sashka Trajkovska will be the first female soldier included in the Macedonian peacekeeping troops to serve a six-month round.

ARM Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Adil Gazafer extended wishes to the soldiers for successful mission.

The commanding officer of the Joint Operation Command, Major General Atanas Jovceski, said that Macedonian servicemen will represent the Army and the country with dignity as taking part in the global battle against terror and protecting the values of the democratic world.

"Macedonia is reaffirming its partnership with NATO and its position of a serious candidate for membership in the Alliance", Jovceski said.

Macedonian troops have been deployed within the British contingent in Kabul since June 2006, when the country sent 90 soldiers and senior officers of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, headquartered in Stip.

Macedonia had also deployed an infantry squad within the German contingent and a medical team within the Greek field hospital.

By dispatching of this contingent, Macedonia exceeded the number of 210 peacekeeping troops deployed abroad, which was set as capacity limit of the country.

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