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Cooperative Assembly

Cooperative Assembly was a Partnership for Peace exercise conducted in Albania from 17-22 August 1998. The exercise was designed to develop a common understanding of peace support operations, doctrine and training, and to practise interoperability between the nations' military forces. The countries practiced together various other skills, to include search and rescue, close air support, medical evacuation, and air drop procedures as well as infantry peace support operations skills. The training helps refine and validate the procedures and requirements necessary for military forces from NATO and Partner nations to operate effectively together.

About 150 U.S. military personnel participated including a Marine rifle company and an engineering platoon from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. Participating U.S. aircraft included two CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters, two F-16s, and one C-130. About 250 U.S. Marines were suddenly called away for possible evacuation support from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This meant countries had to move quickly to fill the void. Possible terrorists threats for U. S. participants and the American Embassy during the exercise caused additional security measures to be put in place.

Forces from 14 Allied and Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries and observes from another 11 conducted the PfP (live/field) training exercise near Tirana, Albania. Nations participating in Cooperative Assembly included Albania, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. More than 1,700 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and close to 60 fixed wing and rotary aircraft took part in the PfP exercise.

Approximately 620 personnel from Italy's Army, Air Force, Navy and Carabinieri took part in the exercise, as well as 15 aircraft including: 2 AMXs, 2 AV-8Bs, 2 AB-212s, 3 SH-3Ds, 2 AB-205s, 3 CH-47s, and 1 H-3F. Italy more than doubled its effort in the exercise, only 250 Italian participants were scheduled to deploy to the Tirana area for the exercise. However, when American forces were suddenly called away a few days prior to the start of the exercise, Italy responded quickly, increasing its participation to about 620, and also assuming the roles of director of ground operations and camp commandant at Bize.

Over 140 Greek military members were part of the 1,700 personnel and 50 aircraft conducting the (live/field) training exercise in Albania. Greek air forces participating in the exercise included, a CH-47 Chinook and a UH-1 Huey from the 2nd Hellenic Battalion Megara Air Base, Athens, Greece; a C-130. Hercules transport plane, Eleusina Air Base, Athens, and two F-16 Eagles, Larissa (Greece) Air Base. Ground forces included a four-person Army Mobile Dental Team from the 1st Hellenic Army in Kozani Greece and 60 soldiers from 2nd Hellenic Parachute Battalion, Athens.

A French Army Company of engineers led an ambitious school rebuilding project here this week as part of Exercise Cooperative Assembly 98 (CA98). A total of 245 engineers and soldiers from four countries worked as a team to repair the school. This included a French company of 139 soldiers from the 2nd Engineer Regiment from Metz; 29 engineers from the Albanian lst Brigade; 39 from the Italian Alpini Brigade "Taurinese" and the San Marco Battalion, and 37 from the United States 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit. The extensive school work included installing new doors and windows, rewiring the building and installing new plumbing. The cost of the material funded by NATO was over $120,000 (US).

CA98 was under the direction of the Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH), Admiral T, Joseph Lopez, USN, and was commanded and coordinated by Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces Southern Europe.

CA98 was held within the framework of the Partnership for Peace Programme launched at the NATO summit in January 1994. This programme aims to further improve understanding and cooperation with the armed forces of Central and Eastern Europe and with several Central Asian and Caucasus nations and thus foster enhanced security relationships between NATO and its Partner nations.

  • ALBANIA: 150 personnel including a commando company, an infantry platoon, an engineering platoon and a military police platoon. Aircraft: 2 MIG-19s, 2 MIG-21s, 2 MI-4s
  • BELGIUM: 2 F-16As
  • CANADA: 2 CF-18s
  • FRANCE: 150 personnel including 1 engineering company and a water purification team. Aircraft: 2 Jaguars, 1 C-135
  • GERMANY: 180 personnel including 1 paratroop company. Aircraft: 2 Tornados, 1 C-160, 2 CH-53
  • GREECE: 100 personnel including 1 paratroop company, 1 mobile dental surgery team. Aircraft: 1 C-130 and 3 Close Air Support aircraft
  • ITALY: 500 personnel including 1 regiment headquarters, 1 infantry company, 1 Marine company, 1 signal company, 1 engineering platoon, 10 Carabinieri (Military Police). Aircraft: 2 AMX, 2 AV8Bs, 2 AB-212s, 3 SH-3Ds, 2 AB-205s, 3 CH-47s, 1 HH-3F
  • LITHUANIA: 40 personnel including 1 infantry platoon
  • RUSSIA: 40 personnel including 1 infantry platoon
  • SPAIN: 130 personnel including 1 subtactical group (company strength reinforced with special detachments. Aircraft: 2 UH-1s Spanish Marine Corps History
  • TURKEY: 219 personnel including 1 naval infantry company. Aircraft: 4 F-16s, 1 C-160
  • UNITED KINGDOM: 60 personnel including 1 paratroop company. Aircraft: 2 C-130s, 2 GR-7s, 1 CH-47
  • UNITED STATES: 150 personnel including 1 Marine rifle company, 1 engineering platoon. Aircraft: 2 CH-4s, 2 F-16s, 1 C-130
  • OBSERVERS: Austria (2), Bulgaria (2), Czech Republic (2), Denmark (2), Finland (4), Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (3), Moldova (2), Poland (1), Romania (2), Sweeden (3), Switzerland (1)

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