COOPERATIVE OSPREY OPENING CEREMONY
Wednesday, August 14, 1996
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
On behalf of President Clinton and Secretary of Defense
Perry, I want to welcome all of you to the United States, to Camp
Lejeune and to Cooperative Osprey 96.
The United States is
proud to host this exercise, but we are even prouder to work
alongside the troops of the Partnership for Peace nations and our
Each one of our nations should be proud of making
the Partnership for Peace a success, and for contributing to a
new era in security for us all.
Earlier this summer, a group of dedicated and courageous
individuals from all over the world came to the United States.
They were the Olympic athletes.
They came to the playing fields
in Atlanta with the pride and hopes of their nations.
Atlanta with gold, silver and bronze medals.
They also left
with the world's esteem and the pride that comes from giving
their personal best.
But as we all know, the Olympic athletes
accomplished something even greater.
They brought the world
They enhanced international peace and
And they made lifelong friends.
Today, we have another group of dedicated and courageous
visitors in America.
On these training fields, we have troops
and observers from 23 nations from the Atlantic to the Urals and
From Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia -- the Baltic
From Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine in Eastern Europe.
From the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Slovak Republic
in Central Europe.
From Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania
in South Central Europe.
From Azerbaijan, Kazakstan, Kyrgystan
and Uzbekistan in Central Asia.
From Austria, Denmark and the
Netherlands in Western Europe.
And from Canada and the United
States in North America.
Like the Olympic athletes, you came to this field of peace
with the pride and hopes of your nations.
You too are bringing
the world together, enhancing international peace and
We hope that you, too, depart as friends.
as the Olympic athletes trained to meet world-class standards in
athletics, you are training here today to meet world-class
standards in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.
the kinds of military operations we can expect to face in the
foreseeable future; that we can carry out together; and that,
indeed, we are carrying out at this very moment in Bosnia.
Cooperative Osprey will advance our capabilities to conduct
multilateral peace operations.
It will improve the ability of
NATO and Partner forces to work together, to be interoperable, to
better understand one another.
We are sharing our skills and
strengths, and our attitudes and attributes.
Most of all, we
are forging closer security relations and building a new zone of
stability in the world.
This is an exciting day for all of us.
Ever since the
Cooperative Nugget exercises at Ft. Polk, Louisiana last summer,
the United States has been looking forward to the opportunity to
host another major Partnership for Peace exercise on our soil.
We should be proud that Cooperative Nugget was a resounding
But military forces never rest on their successes.
In Olympic pole-vaulting, when you make a successful pole
vault, they raise the bar.
That is what we are doing here at
We are raising the bar.
We are making
these PFP exercises more sophisticated and more challenging than
those that preceded it.
You are going to practice moving from a
maritime to a land operation.
We will put you on ships and
helicopters and support you with Harrier jump jets.
cruise from ship to shore on air-cushioned landing craft.
will rescue a downed pilot and actually set up a complex peace-
In the process you'll become knowledgeable
in NATO training, tactics and procedures -- from planning to
You're in the right place to get that training.
1941, Camp Lejeune has been one of the premier training bases in
the U.S. military.
It has a reputation for tough, realistic
And Camp Lejeune is prepared to serve up a full
helping of that tough, realistic training during Cooperative
This training camp was established to help prepare U.S.
forces to fight in the Second World War.
The training of our
forces for the war was led on the national level by the American
General George C. Marshall.
Today at Camp Lejeune, we are
helping to fulfill another legacy of George Marshall.
of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after the war, Marshall
envisioned a region united in peace, freedom and democracy from
the Atlantic to the Urals and beyond.
As the 21st Century
approaches, our nations have a golden opportunity to make the
Marshall vision a reality for Europe and beyond.
Here at Camp
Lejeune -- together -- our militaries are helping our nations to
make that vision a reality.
In the United States, our Olympic athletes have a saying
that probably translates the same way in almost any language.
That saying is, Go for the Gold. For the next two weeks, I
urge you to Go for the Gold here at Cooperative Osprey.
prize ultimately will be more valuable than even an Olympic gold
Your prize will be that you made a personal contribution
to a bright new future for East-West relations, and to nations
united in peace, freedom and democracy.
Your prize will be the
privilege of telling your children and your grandchildren that
you made their world a safer place.
Welcome to America.
Thank you for your commitment to this
And I wish you a successful Partnership for Peace