Zadar is set to play an extremely important defense role, with operations expected to begin next year.
As Morski writes on the 4th of October, 2018, the agreement of understanding of the establishment of the Multinational Special Aviation Program (MSAP) was signed on the 4th of October, 2018, at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels by the defense ministers of Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia, in the presence of NATO’s Rose Gottemoeller.
The multinational centre for the training of helicopter crews for the special air force will be located in in the Republic of Croatia, more specifically in Zemunik in the Zadar region, and the initiative is strongly supported by both NATO HQ and the NSHQ special operations command, who also expressed their support for the establishment and operation of the centre.
The MSAP program is intended to train multi-purpose helicopter crews for special air operations, through theoretical and multi-week flight training programs for the implementation of unconventional special air force tasks. The headquarters of this training centre will be located the 93rd Airforce Base of the HRZ in the “Colonel Mirko Vukušić” barracks in Zemunik Donji, and the beginning of the actual functioning of the centre is expected in 2019.
After the signing of the important agreement, Croatian Defense Minister Damir Krstičević stated:
”Today, we’re marking a significant day for all of us gathered here. With the signing of the Memorandum of understanding on a multinational special aircraft program, which will be located in Croatia, in the beautiful city of Zadar, we’re taking an important step towards acquiring and further developing the alliance’s ability to create a multinational educational solution as a comprehensive framework for cooperation. Special operations aircraft are an important and highly customisable element within NATO’s deterrent and defense tools.”
Minister Krstičević also thanked Rose Gottemoeller and the NATO Investment Sector, as well as NSHQ for their intermediary role and their continued support for this project from its very beginnings.
”No ally, no matter how powerful and great, can solve future challenges alone. Therefore, during this period of interdependence, cooperative partnership is not just an option, but a necessity. Therefore, I’m particularly pleased to be able to witness the full potential of our cooperation here, which will provide the space for the further exchange of experiences and multinational capacity development. With our mutual engagement in the spirit of true partnership, we’ll strive to increase the opportunities for the sharing of resources and knowledge, and increase our interoperability,” Krstičević stated, concluding that such a multinational approach is in the interests of all of those involved.