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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 211-00
April 27, 2000

ENGINEERS CONDUCT FIELD TRAINING IN MACEDONIA

The bilateral in the spirit of partnership for peace engineering field-training exercise, Cornerstone 00-3, begins May 1, 2000, in Macedonia. The exercise ends June 30, 2000.

Cornerstone 00-3 is designed to develop a common understanding of military interoperability in peace support operations and foster mutual trust, respect and cooperation between Macedonia and the United States. While conducting the exercise, engineers will complete four humanitarian civic assistance projects, which include renovations of medical clinics in Pepeliste and Krivolak as well as minor engineering projects at two elementary schools.

Approximately 140 U.S. personnel and 105 Macedonian engineers and security personnel will participate in the exercise at any given time. U.S. participants will include active duty, reserve and guardsmen of the U.S. Navy Seabees, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, 16th Air Force, Vermont Air National Guard, Oregon Air National Guard, Indiana Air National Guard and U.S. Marine Corps engineers.

Not only is this exercise being conducted in the spirit of the partnership for peace program, it is also part of the state partnership program between Vermont and Macedonia.

The exercise also will be the first to include military engineer observers from other countries participating in the Southeast Europe Defense Ministerial (SEDM) process. SEDM brings together, in addition to the United States and Macedonia, three NATO allies (Greece, Italy, and Turkey) and four partners (Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovenia) to cooperate on a range of security-related issues in the region.

By observing Cornerstone 00-3 the SEDM military engineers will learn project and construction techniques useful for their future mission of rendering multilateral assistance in humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.