ZAGREB, March 3, 2020 – Vice Admiral Robert Hranj on Tuesday assumed the duties of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces from General Mirko Šundov, saying he would do the utmost to discharge them as best he could.
Until now, Hranj was the General Staff director. Speaking at the ceremony at the Defence Ministry, he said the Croatian army was one of the pillars of the Croatian state and that he would insist on the safety of all military personnel as well as on work and discipline.
Hranj said he would work on the development of the army as well-trained, equipped, operational and ready to respond to all tasks and threats.
Addressing the ceremony, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Zoran Milanović remembered everyone who took part in the defence and liberation of Croatia, notably those killed, gone missing or wounded.
Without them, there would be no present-day Croatia, which is a good country but can be better, he said.
After 18 years, “the US adventure in Afghanistan” is ending, with the US withdrawing from there, and Croatian troops together with it, Milanović said.
Croatia is not defended only on its borders, and the constitution clearly defines the tasks of the Armed Forces, he added.
He said Croatia would continue to be present in hotspots, but always taking into account its own interest. “This is not selfishness but common sense.”
Defence Minister Damir Krstičević said the common goal was to strengthen the Croatian army, underlining the importance of legal conduct and care for the safety of every individual.
He thanked Šundov for his performance as Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, for excellent cooperation since the Homeland War and for dedicating his life to the Croatian army and state.
Krstičević said he proposed that Hranj be in charge of the purchase of fighter jets.
We have big expectations of him also in other segments of the modernisation and equipping of the army, he added and announced that he would propose that Milanović promote Hranj to the rank of admiral.
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