Chief of General Staff on the Future of Croatian Armed Forces

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General Mirko Šundov: Army modernisation will be dictated by the state budget.

General Mirko Šundov, the Chief of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces gave an interview in which he discussed the recent incident when two soldiers were wounded during training and the future of the Armed Forces, reports Večernji List on May 2, 2016.

Health condition of two members of the Armed Forces, who were wounded last week in an explosion during specialist training at the Cerovac military training ground near Karlovac is better than before, said Šundov, who visited the soldiers on Sunday afternoon. He added that the military police was conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the accident and that special investigative commissions had been established in order to find the cause of the accident. “As Chief of Staff, I wish them both a speedy recovery”, said Šundov.

Asked to assess the situation in the Armed Forces two months after he took over as Chief of General Staff, Šundov responded that the Armed Forces were not “an isolated island” and shared the fate of the society as a whole. He added that the budget will dictate the speed of army’s modernization. Šundov said that it was necessary to perform regular maintenance of existing weapons and military equipment to ensure a high level of readiness.

He stressed that the Armed Forces had continued the already started modernization projects which would certainly contribute to their readiness. He added that the Croatian Armed Forces carried out tasks in support of peace operations, as well as regular training activities and exercises, and stood ready to provide assistance to civilian institutions with emergency medical transport, wildfire emergencies and similar disasters.

General Šundov said that people were the most important and most valuable part of the Armed Forces, and that the main task of General Staff was to provide them with better training and working conditions.

Asked when the “fate” of the Air Force would be known, Šundov said that this was not just a question for the Armed Forces, but for the whole society. He pointed out that certainly there was no question whether Croatia should keep the Air Force because, as he explained, once a part of the military is lost it is very difficult to bring it back. He said that at the moment analyses were being performed and that debates about available options for the air force modernization would be organized. For the final decision to me made, it will be necessary to achieve a consensus in the society.


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