Exercise Cooperative Determination

5-16 November 2001

Baku, Azerbaijan

6 November 01Press Conference


Brig. Gen. Deed's Remarks


Good morning Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to Exercise Cooperative Determination 01. I am delighted to be able to speak to you on behalf of General Ataman, Commander, Joint Command Southeast, and say what a pleasure it is to be in Azerbaijan for Exercise Cooperative Determination 2001.

We have embarked on an important and challenging training exercise that promises great benefits. I must emphasize, however, that this exercise is not related to any ongoing military operation. This exercise has been in planning for two years.

Eighteen nations--nine NATO allies and nine partner nations have sent soldiers to participate in this very important exercise. Four NATO headquarters and two international organizations are represented as well. Our overall goal for Exercise Cooperative Determination is to increase military interoperability in Peace Support and Humanitarian Assistance operations.

This morning Id like to explain our exercise from a broad perspective. The very name of the exercise, "Cooperative Determination" is especially fitting. For cooperation is the foundation upon which the Partnership for Peace Programm rests.

Just as nations seek peace and stablility through dialogue and better understanding, so do we in the military.

We seek military interoperability, a process to harmonize our procedures and through which we learn from each other so that we can better operate side-by-side in pursuit of a common goal, that is peace and stability.

The focus of our training extends beyond just the military. We have to work with international and non-governmental humanitarian organizations as well. For this exercise we are fortunate to have representatives from the United Nations civilian police and the International Red Cross here with us.

However, we should not overlook the importance of individual soldiers working together. This exercise will provide military personnel from 18 different nations an opportunity to bond professionally and personally, and thereby strengthen the partnership. The spirit of cooperation may begin with governments and diplomats but it takes shape among individual men and women serving their respective countries.

It seems our world is wracked with conflict, and there are pressing needs for humanitarian assistance. Recent experience has taught us the critical role the military may play in large-scale humanitarian operations.

As military men and women we must be prepared to act quickly and effectively when our nations call upon us.

Id like to highlight, just one of the humanitarian assistance skills we are training on during this exercise--providing medical support. We have the capability to provide real medical assistance and, in conjunction with the host nation are seeking opportunities to provide support to the local Azeri people. We hope for our medical team to visit several local orphanages, for we want the Azeri people to know that they too are are part of this diverse Partnership for Peace.

Officers from NATO and Partner nations have made excellent plans and preparations for this exercise. I'd particuliarly like to thank our host, Azerbaijan, for its support and the wonderful people of Baku for their generousity and hospitality.

Cooperative Determination shows the solidarity of NATO and its Partners and their resolve to contribute to the peace and stability in the EURO- ATLANTIC area. I believe that our mutual desire for peace and stability in the world will make this exercise a success, and will increase our interoperability, and most importantly, strengthen our vitally important Partnership for Peace.


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