Largest Croatian Military Exercise Starts

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 13, 2018 – Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Defence Minister Damir Krstičević and the Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff, General Mirko Šundov, on Saturday watched, at the “Josip Jović” barracks in Udbina, central Croatia, the start of the military exercise “Velebit 18 – Joint Force”, toured the exercise headquarters and the expedition camp of the support headquarters, expressing satisfaction with what they had seen.

“Velebit 18 – Joint Force” is a comprehensive, joint exercise involving all army units and taking place without interruption for 72 hours at 11 locations throughout Croatia.

President Grabar-Kitarović expressed hope that the exercise would provide a clear picture of the army’s capabilities and the segments where it needed additional training. She commended the exercise for demonstrating “good preparedness and ambition in testing the capabilities of the army’s active and reserve components.”

The president commended an increase in budget allocations for defence, noting that it was necessary for Croatia’s compliance with its international obligations as a member of the international community and NATO as well as because it guaranteed the country’s security and stability.

Commenting on the latest US donation of Black Hawk helicopters, she said that they were not “a handout by the US and Congress but a clear sign that our allies recognise us as a responsible member of NATO which gives more than an adequate contribution to joint efforts in dealing with global challenges and security threats such as terrorism.”

She said the donation marked the beginning of modernisation of the country’s transport aircraft, which she described as a priority project and added that a new cycle of investment in human resources, conditions in barracks and further training had begun as well.

Addressing the event, Defence Minister Krstičević welcomed all soldiers, Croatian Navy members, commissioned and non-commissioned officers, commanders and generals, as well as representatives of the National Guard of Minnesota and the US Army as the key partner and ally.

He said that the exercise headquarters at Udbina was an example of a modern headquarters. “This command, which leads joint operations of the army branches in real time, in an exercise that has not happened since the Homeland War, demonstrates a high level of competence and understanding of the most modern principles of military doctrine,” said Krstičević, noting that the message of the exercise was that Croatia was protected by a strong and modern, well-equipped army capable of dealing with both conventional and unconventional challenges.

Army Chief-of-Staff Šundov said that the exercise, which was the Croatian Army’s main training event in 2018, involved around 5,500 soldiers and a part of the reserve forces. It is comprehensive, involves all military branches and is a nation-wide event testing doctrines, tactics, techniques and procedures in all four theatres – sea, land, air and cyber space.

The exercise commander, Vice Admiral Robert Hranj, briefed the president and the defence minister about the situation at the exercise’s 11 training sites in real time.

The main part of the exercise will be held at the military training site in Slunj and will demonstrate assault operations involving several dozen tanks and armoured vehicles, mortars, helicopters and jets.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment