Minister of Defense Slavjanka Petrovska along with Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Vasko Gjurcinovski, Vermont Governor Phil Scott and Vermont National Guard Adjutant General Gregory Knight celebrated Thursday the 30th anniversary of the partnership between the Army of Macedonia and the Vermont National Guard.

“Looking back at the last three decades, we are reminded of the countless individuals who have dedicated themselves to this cooperation with their professionalism and expertise. I admire the visionaries, dedication and strong belief in this cooperation that grows ever stronger. A few decades ago we were struggling with internal crisis. Today, we are a NATO member country. A couple of years ago, we needed urgent help. Today, Macedonia is no longer a part of the problem, but a part of the solution. Through this partnership we are creating our own national capacities, improving procedures, and modernizing our Army, but above all, we have built a strong friendship,” said Petrovska at the reception.

Lieutenant-General Vasko Gjurchinovski said that the past three decades were marked by great cooperation, mutual understanding, and exchange of ideas and experiences, and added that the Vermont National Guard is more than a partner, the Defense Ministry said in a press release.

General Knight also spoke at the ceremony, emphasizing that the most important part of the partnership is the friendship, and that he is looking forward to the next 30 years for this partnership to reach its full potential.

Petrovska also visited the Vermont Air National Guard base and the Vermont State Emergency Operations Center, and met with director Erica Bornemann.

Minister Petrovska will meet Vermont Governor Scott at Friday’s reception ceremony, where they will sign a joint statement on the 30-year partnership. Petrovska will also visit Norwich University, the oldest private military college in the United States, where Macedonian cadets had the chance to advance their knowledge. She will meet with University President, Major General Mark Anarumo and discuss the possibility of continuing cooperation. Petrovska will also visit the cyber operation squadron and the information operations battalion.