The Unusual Plateau

When driving down the E-75 highway in the central part of Macedonia, just near the town of Negotino, one can see a vast flat area stretching to the horizon. One can notice it is not populated, not built up and has scarce vegetation. There are no roads leading to it and no signs pointing to it. Well, this is because the area of Krivolak is home to a military base of the Macedonian army and the largest military training area in the Balkans. The base has been used for NATO exercises, and as a weapons testing ground in Yugoslavia. It occupies a very large area of mostly barren landscape including hills, valleys, and a desert that test the skills and endurance of soldiers who train there. The military drills that take place there often are a combination of heavy artillery firing, aerial bombardment and infantry attack. Various temporary objects including building and vehicles are used to simulate real warfare. The military training ground within the base is sometimes used for training of United Nations Military Observers (UNMOs). Krivolak is also the location of the annual training exercise sponsored by the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education (CHSE). The Consortium is a collaborative effort of academic, government, and non-governmental organizations in the United States and Macedonia. The training includes university students from Macedonia and the United States who are involved in organizing and conducting a humanitarian response to a simulated major earthquake. Read more …

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