Major Military Exercise Ends

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 16, 2018 – The 72-hour exercise dubbed “Velebit 18 – Joint Force”, which was the main training event of the Croatian Armed Forces in 2018, involving about 5,500 active-service personnel and reservists as well as combat and non-combat equipment, was concluded on a training ground at Slunj on Monday.

Commenting on the exercise which started in Udbina on Saturday, Defence Minister Damir Krstičević praised the participants in these manoeuvres for showing the readiness of the Croatian Armed Forces to defend the homeland and for showing power and strength so that the Croatian people would never again experience the calamity and destruction such as was the case during the 1991-1995 Homeland Defence War.

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

Top officials, including President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who attended the start of the manoeuvres, and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who watched the second day of the exercise on the island of Dugi Otok, expressed satisfaction with the successful implementation of the exercise that showed the preparedness and professionalism of the Croatian Army.

Minister Krstičević said that the next exercise of this kind would be held in 2021 on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Croatian Armed Forces.

In attendance at today’s final part of the exercise were retired generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač.

Gotovina said that the Armed Forces “are one of the most important pillars of national security. They guarantee security and the preservation of our freedom”.

Markač said that the Croatian armed forces had achieved NATO standards. “We can be proud of having achieved such results in a short period.”

In attendance were also U.S. Ambassador Robert Kohorst and U.S. military envoy to Croatia Robert Mathers, as well as other prominent guests.


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