Meeting between Generals Dikovic and Bartman
Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff, General Ljubisa Dikovic, has met today with the Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard, Major General Mark Bartman, in Belgrade.
Speaking about the significance of the visit, General Dikovic pointed out that this is the second official visit of General Bartman to our country since he has been at the position of Adjutant General, and that cooperation with the Ohio National Guard has been developing for ten years under the Serbia and the United States State Partnership Programme.
- For the past ten years, members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces have consistently implemented the strategic partnership goals between Serbia and the USA, which were within the competence of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces. We will mark the tenth anniversary of the successful cooperation with the Ohio National Guard, which does not mean that this is a rift or break, but an excellent opportunity to see what we have done while at the same time mapping a new area of cooperation, which are essential for the development of our military capabilities and further development of partnership relations - General Dikovic said.
According to him, the results achieved in that partnership are very much visible. These are, among other things, several humanitarian assistance activities that have been implemented since 2006, worth several million dollars, in the towns in the southern part of Serbia, whose population still enjoy the fruits of what has been created in the framework of this cooperation.
- The South Base project is in its final phase, where several million dollars were invested in the South Base for it to become a regional partnership training centre for all those who would like to participate in multinational operations in order to support and build peace in the world – General Dikovic said adding that for the capabilities of the Serbian Armed Forces it is especially important that the South Base, with all its infrastructure facilities, will certainly influence the level of training of officers and soldiers of our armed forces, because there will be created all the conditions that are necessary for training of individuals and units today.
General Dikovic announced that during today's meeting they will discuss the new modalities of cooperation, which, as he assessed, are very interesting and important for the capabilities of our military, and whose details will be discussed when we reach full agreement on all issues of these projects in future.
As pointed out by General Bartman, several projects were implemented during the last ten years, including those that were carried out by the engineering groups of the Ohio National Guard and members of the Serbian Armed Forces during the rebuilding and renovation of schools throughout Serbia. He expressed his particular satisfaction that tomorrow already he is to attend one of the campaigns, i.e., partnership and cooperation of medical personnel from the Ohio National Guard and members of the Serbian Armed Forces.
- I am looking forward to be able during the visit to make a tour of the South Base and look at the hard work and efforts invested to make this base become a true example of a partnership centre and multinational and pre-deployment training centre – General Bartman said and assessed that it was hard to believe that ten years of cooperation was behind us, while expressing his satisfaction with the joint projects in the future.
During the visit of the delegation of the Ohio National Guard to our country, in the coming days a humanitarian assistance project of combined medical teams of the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ohio National Guard is being conducted in the territory of Pcinj administrative district. Combined Medical Engagement that includes free medical examinations of the villagers far away from health institutions will be conducted by 31 members of the Serbian Armed Forces, 26 members of the Ohio National Guard and four members of the Angolan Armed Forces as observers.