Minnesota National Guard Commander on Official Visit to Croatia

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The strong bond and friendship between the armed forces of Croatia and the USA were underscored during the visit, especially cooperation with the National Guard, which has been ongoing for 26 years.

That cooperation in particular refers to the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter being put into operational use through the joint training of pilots and technicians, as well as the cooperation related to the  Bradley fighting vehicles.

Banožić and Manke confirmed the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, which are particularly highlighted through the state cooperation program between Croatia’s armed forces and the Minnesota National Guard.

“The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia welcomes every opportunity to strengthen bilateral and defence cooperation between our countries. The cooperation of the Croatian Army with the Minnesota National Guard is of great importance for us and in the context of a joint contribution to strengthening NATO’s capabilities,” said Banožić.

The two officials agreed that each NATO member state should continue to invest in strengthening the capabilities of its national armed forces. General Manke welcomed Croatia’s decision to purchase the Bradley fighting vehicles and Black Hawk helicopters and commended Croatia’s support to war-torn Ukraine.

“I am convinced that our future cooperation will result in significant progress and development of capabilities, thereby contributing not only to the strengthening of national but also regional and allied security,” said Admiral Hranj.

He thanked General Manke for his efforts and the transfer of know-how and experience of the American National Guard.

It is my pleasure to discuss areas of future cooperation as well as further opportunities important for the development of the capabilities of the Croatian forces with the aim of strengthening national and allied capabilities, Manke said and added that he was glad to have the opportunity to participate in the commemoration of 5 August as a very important date in the recent history of the Croatian nation.

As part of his official visit, Manke visited the Croatian Air Force Command and the Croatian Army Command.

Defence cooperation with the US armed forces develops in various areas, and cooperation with the Minnesota National Guard has a special place. It is implemented through the State Partnership Program, which was launched with Croatia in June 1996.


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