ZAGREB, June 16, 2020 – For the second year in a row Croatia’s firefighting aircraft will be on stand-by as part of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (RescEU) mechanism, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.
Croatian firefighting planes will be prepared to participate in the RescEU mission from June 15 to October 31, based on two models. Under the first model, two aircraft would fly to neighboring Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania and would return to Croatia each day, while the second model envisages missions of several days to more distant countries like Spain, France, and Israel.
A third model also exists where aircraft can be deployed to countries with a high wildfire risk and will be prepared to intervene if necessary.
The commander of the 855th firefighting squadron, Colonel Tomislav Vacenovski, said that together with other sections of homeland security, Croatia’s firefighting system has also been strengthened and is capable of providing assistance to other countries.
“We have had 19 international missions in seven countries which confirms our high potential and preparedness to promptly deploy our forces not only in Croatia but in countries that request assistance,” Vacenovski said.
RescEU is a project that reinforced and strengthened the EU’s disaster risk management by upgrading the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and has the objective of enhancing both the protection of citizens from disasters and the management of emerging risks.