YU army chief tours 'strategic units'

BELGRADE, Jul 6, 2000 -- (BBC) Excerpts from report by Serbian radio on 5th July

Col-Gen Nebojsa Pavkovic, chief of the Yugoslav Army's [VJ] General Staff, and his aides today visited some of the commands of the strategic VJ units in the Raska [southern Serbia, near Kosovo's northern border] and Kraljevo [central Serbia] bases, which used to be under his direct command during the defence against NATO's aggression in Kosovo-Metohija [when Pavkovic headed the 3rd Army].

On this tour he was accompanied by Col-Gen Srboljub Trajkovic, the 1st Army [with HQs in Belgrade] commander, and Col-Gen Milorad Obradovic, the 2nd Army [with HQs in Montenegro] commander, a statement released by the VJ General Staff's press service says.

On the basis of briefings by the commanders of the 1st and the 2nd Armies and a tour of the units, which also included talks with soldiers and officers, Gen Pavkovic acquired comprehensive knowledge of the state of combat readiness, accommodation and equipment storage facilities, the main activities during regular training and the conditions in which the planned tasks are carried out.

At the Ibarski Rudari barracks within the Raska base the chief of the General Staff paid tribute and laid wreaths at the monument to the fallen members of the VJ 37th motorized brigade, which was awarded the People's Hero Order, who gave their lives in the defence against NATO's aggression.

The chief of the General Staff also met the heads of the Raska, Moravica and Zlatibor districts, municipal heads and directors of firms who have been providing aid and have been directly involved in the reconstruction efforts.

The current questions related to possibilities of further developing the mutually useful cooperation were discussed as well.

The chief of the General Staff briefed professional officers about the current military-security situation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its neighbourhood, as well as about the VJ's main tasks.

He particularly emphasized the measures that have been taken to improve working and living standards and the material position of the VJ's professional soldiers and that of the families of the VJ's fallen or wounded members.

For exceptional results in carrying out regular tasks, their success in regular training, contribution to the reconstruction of the military infrastructure, and efforts to repair damage caused by the bombardment, the chief of the General Staff awarded and recognized a number of senior officers, soldiers, and civilians.

General Pavkovic gave a high mark to the accomplished level of combat readiness and morale in the reviewed units of the 1st and the 2nd Army, and identified priority tasks that are to be done by these strategic units and the VJ as a whole in the coming period.

Source: Radio Belgrade in Serbo-Croat 1300 GMT 5 Jul 00.

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