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NATO: Partnership For Peace Exercises In U.S. Draw To Close

Washington, 27 August 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Yesterday was the last day of active training for 1,100 troops from more than 20 nations of Central Europe and the former Soviet Union taking part in a NATO Partnership for Peace exercise in the United States.

Participants are spending the final part of the three-week maneuvers in multinational units, exercising the peacekeeping tasks they have learned in a final exercise at the U.S. Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Participating countries are the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary, as well as Poland, Slovakia, Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Albania, the three Baltic states, and a unit from the Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

The Czech Republic, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Denmark sent observers. U.S. Marine Major Rick Mill, one of the American participants, said it has been a "very smooth exercise" and that "everyone has done well."

Mill said the troops have a day of recreation tomorrow to visit an amusement park. On Wednesday they are to rehearse for the closing ceremony on Thursday. U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry is expected to attend and make the closing remarks.

On Friday and Saturday, U.S. military planes will fly the troops to Germany from where they are to return home.