The ceremony marking the 25th Annivesary of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence, held…
The 26th anniversary of the establishment of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence was marked in the home barracks “Pukovnik Marko Živković“ at Pleso on 12 December 2017, with a memorial mass served by the Croatian Military Ordinary, Mons Jure Bogdan, and a main ceremony featuring the handover of duty and flag between Major General Miroslav Kovač as the outgoing and Brigadier General Mato Mikić as the newly appointed Commander. The ceremony was attended by the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Mirko Šundov as the Envoy of the President of the Republic, by the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, the representatives of other services and units of the Croatian Armed Forces and of the Ministry of Defence, of the Diplomatic Corps and by the former commanders, the personnel and the families of the fallen members of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence.
Congratulating the members of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence on the achievements, the commitment to their duty, and to the commanders, the Chief of the General Staff reminded of its unique history, growing from the upgraded agricultural and training aircraft. In those hard yet glorious days the feats the members of the Croatian Air Force were cherished as the model of sacrifice and patriotism. General Šundov stressed and expressed appreciation to the Croatian pilots who left the JNA to join the Croatian air force.
General Šundov also reminded of the reputation enjoyed by the members of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence for their participation in peace support missions worldwide, training the pilots of various countries and maintaining the assets, as well as performing fire protection, emergency medical transportation and s&r.
Defence Minister Damir Krstičević stressed the productive year 2017, including the finalisation of the procurement of multi-role fighter aircraft and underlined the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence as a specific service in terms of the assets operated, and praised the readiness and commitment of the personnel – the pilots and technicians of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence – during the Homeland War and in the post-war period alike. The Minister concluded by calling on young and ambitious people to pursue a pilot career and to join the Multi-role Fighter Aircraft Squadron.
The outgoing Commander, Major General Miroslav Kovač extended appreciation to the members of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence and their contribution to the development of the service and also reviewed the series of reorganisations which resulted in a modern air force, ready to fulfill its constitutional tasks and mission and stressed the accomplishments in the course of 2017 – the education of the pilots of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence, many flying hours, the assignment of young personnel to commanding duties and introduction of new assets (the Kiowa Warrior helicopters) into the operational service and the prospective procurement of multi-role fighter aircraft to enhance the combat component and set the platform for even more effective execution of future tasks.
The new Commander of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence, stated that the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence had sufficient expert personnel guaranteeing the fulfilment of the assigned goals and quoted the important and challenging tasks ahead – the enhanced fighter component of the service through the introduction of Kiowa Warrior helicopters, and the expected procurement of the multi-role combat aircraft.
The ceremony also included the promotion procedure of 17 officers, 15 NCOs and enlisted soldiers of of the service, and a static display of the weapons and equipment operated by the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence.