Macedonians reload with new platoon

Source: Blackanthem Military News, CAMP TAJI, Iraq

Macedonia recently renewed its support in the fight against terrorists in Iraq as the Macedonian Ranger Platoon transferred authority to the Macedonian “Wolves” Special Forces Platoon in a ceremony June 7.

The Macedonian Ranger Platoon leaves Iraq after completing 270 combat patrols, conducting two medical operations, saving the lives of numerous local nationals and capturing terrorist weapons and weapons systems.

“The outgoing Macedonian Ranger Platoon has shown superb professionalism, tactical experience and have proven to be masters of non-lethal operations,” said Maj. Jessie Robinson, executive officer, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “Through leader engagements and winning the trust of the people they are always prepared to win any fight. The contribution that Macedonia has made to the war is immeasurable.”

Italian army Brig. Gen. Pier Paolo Lunelli, Multi-National Forces – Iraq deputy chief of staff for Coalition operations, attended the ceremony and thanked the Macedonians for their service while welcoming the new unit to Iraq.

The Wolves will face many challenges here, said Robinson.

“To the incoming platoon, we will require a lot of you,” he said. “The enemy will challenge you, but through your professionalism and leadership within your organization, you will strip away (the terrorists’) support, engage, capture or kill any terrorists operating within your area of operation and continue to earn the trust and confidence of the people.”

Capt. Dragan Maksimovski, outgoing executive officer, Macedonian Ranger Platoon, worked with the incoming unit and wishes them well.

“They looked good,” he said. “They will do just as well if not better than us.”

By Spc. C. Terrell Turner
1st BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div.

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