The PzH 2000 Howitzers, to be displayed in the motorised, mechanised and armoured column in…
Croatian forces preparing for the Exercise “Puma“ in Poland
The team of the“Hrvatski vojnik“ magazine visited the members of the 2nd HRVCON stationed in the Barracks “Bemowo Piskie” in the Republic of Poland, who are taking the training and practice in order to upgrade combat readiness and interoperability with the other components of the Battlegroup. We visited them in one of the training locations where the self-propelled rocket launchers conducted tactical procedures in the artillery firing position, preparing for live firing to take place within the inter-branch Exercise “Puma“, to be conducted by the 15th Mechanised Infantry Brigade of the Polish Armed Forces, which incorporates the Battlegroup. The Exercise also comprises the live firing with the Vulkan MRL in service in the Croatian Armed Forces. The 2nd HRVCON has been in the Training Range “Bemowo Piskie” in Poland since mid-April, as a part of the Battlegroup within NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence. It comprises a 122-mm self-propelled MRL Battery Vulkan. Along with the contingent of the U.S. as a Lead Nation, the Battlegroup comprises the forces of the United Kingdom and Romania. The Battlegroup is a renforcement of 15th Mechanised Infantry Brigade of the Polish Armed Forces. The Croatian Contingent is composed of 72 members of the Croatian Armed Forces, and is commanded by Captain Dario Bilješković. The members are stationed in the barracks within the “Bernowo Piskie“ Range. We visited them in one of the training ranges where they have trained and practiced to upgrade combat readiness and interoperability with other components of the Battlegroup – “Sosna”, where the self-propelled rocket launchers conducted tactical procedures in the artillery firing position. The HRVCON Commander explained that the Contingent’s planned activities were following the Battlegroup’s schedule; presently they were preparing for live firing to take place within the Exercise scheduled for late May, as a preparation for the Exercise “Puma“, to be conducted by the 15th Mechanised Infantry Brigade of the Polish Armed Forces, which incorporates the Battlegroup. It has been planned as an inter-branch live-fire exercise, to engage the units of the 15th Mechanised Brigade and all components of the Battlegroup stationed in Poland, and will feature a live firing with the Vulkan MRL by the Croatian Battery. To work in a multinational environment is precious professional experience for each individual member and for the entire unit as well . THe experience of the 1st HRVCON was very helpful for successful integration into the Battlegroup. The Commander of the Firing Platoon of the MRL Battery , 1st Lieutenant Zoran Golubović told us that the week following the arrival to Poland the Croatian component commenced individual training followed by squad training; by the first firing scheduled in late May the members are expected to master all tactical procedures up to the battery level. Importantly, the“Bernowo Piskie“ Range offers commendable training and practice capacitiies, and the co-operation and the exchange of experiences with other components of the Battlegroup is are at very high level. The Vulkan’s crew comprises a young female member of the Croatian Armed Forces – Pvt Ana-Marija Lemešić as first loader. She is the sole female member of the of the firing component of the HRVCON, and said that her experience with the training and practice, commenced immediately upon the arrival to Bernowo Piskie has been highly positive and that she hoped she would build them on in the following months in the multinational environment. Pvt Lemešić commended the co-operation with other BG member nations, who show much interest in Croatia and its Armed Forces. The Barracks provides fairly good accomodation conditions and recreational amenities for the Croatian soldiers, enabling them quality free time and keeping fit. The Barracks also offers workshop capacities for the maintenance of all assets and vehicles used in the Mission. An experienced NCO, Sergeant First Class Damir Šingelberger, the Logistic Support Squad Commander and his team have been tasked with regular basic maintentenance of all combat and non-combat assets. At the time of our visit they were doing the seasonal vehicle maintenance, including the Vulkan (the thorough vehicle check, oil and filtar change and other systems), to keep them in proper condition. SFC Šingelberger says his years-long experience leaves very few unknown things and enables his squad deal successfully with any task. He commends the co-operation with other nations of the Battelegroup too, as it is characterised by mutual help and complementation. In their next six-month stay in Poland the Croatian soldiers will continue carrying out their daily tasks within the multinational environment, but will also take part in charity campaigns or sport events. We believe that they will repeat the engagement and the success of the 1st HRVCON, to the pride of all Croatians.
Brigadier General Jaroslav Gromadzinski, Commander of the 15th Mechanised Infantry Bri gade , Polish Armed Forces
Dear friends, I would like to appreciate the Croatian Armed Forces for their contribution to NATO Battlegroup here in Poland. It is really important that you are here with us, under NATO flag. You have joined us in the mission of deterring the aggression on his eastern flank. Deterrence is very important for us, and we are doing it through deterrence through training and deterrence through readiness. We showed interoperability within the Fighting Group. One mission means one team. On the occasion of the forthcoming Day of the Croatian Armed Forces, I would like to wish all the best to all of their brave members . We will soon have a series of important exercises (PUMA and others) and the most important for us – the Exercise “SABER STRIKE“, in which we shall demonstrate interoperability within NATO Battlegroups. I know and I am sure that the members of the Croatian Armed Forces will show a high level of trainedness and professionalism of their military personnel.