DANILOVGRAD ARMY BASE, Montenegro -- "MEDCEUR units, attention!"
Servicemembers of ten nations, including the United States, snapped to attention in formation on the parade ground here for the opening ceremonies of MEDCEUR 2010, a large-scale medical exercise for central and eastern Europe.
"The objectives of the exercise are to develop a common understanding of peace support operations, provide medical training opportunities for U.S. military members and those of our partner nations, and enhance interoperability between our nations," said Exercise Co-Director, Lt. Col. Brent Vosseller of the U.S. Air Force.
"I truly expect and believe all participants will give their best contributions to accomplish these objectives," said Colonel Vosseller.
This is the tenth MEDCEUR and this year's participants, in addition to Montenegro and the United States, include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and the Ukraine.
"On behalf of the MEDCEUR multinational staff, I wish you all a warm welcome," said Montenegrin Army Maj. Ilija Dakovic to the gathered servicemembers.
After Colonel Vosseller and Major Dakovic made their remarks, Vice Adm. Dragan Samardzic, Montenegro's chief of defense, was invited to officially open the exercise.
"I am honored to be in front of the participants in the Medical Exercise in Central and Eastern Europe for 2010," said Admiral Samardzic, who noted that MEDCEUR 2010 is the largest military exercise to be held in Montenegro since the country restored its sovereignty from the former Yugoslavia.
Admiral Samardzic also expressed the hope that beyond just sharing technical knowledge, the servicemembers would build personal friendships as well.
"For this reason, I would like every one of you to learn new skills and gain new experiences during the exercise as well as make new acquaintances and add some new names to your address books," he said.
"Finally, on behalf of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Montenegro, I take great pleasure in declaring the medical exercise MEDCEUR 2010 open."
With the opening ceremonies complete, the servicemembers will attend lectures on various subjects, from first aid to mortuary affairs. Afterwards, the knowledge gained in the classroom will be used in live exercises depicting scenarios such as a chemical accident and landslide.
For more information go to www.usafe.af.mil/medceur.asp and www.odbrana.gov.me.