Croatian Navy’s live- fire tactical EX “Barakuda 18“

From 18 to 20 April, a tactical live-fire  exercise titled “Barakuda 18“ was conducted in the naval training range "Žirje"

From 18 to 20 April, a tactical live-fire  exercise titled “Barakuda 18“ was conducted in the naval training range “Žirje”. Barakuda is an annual training activity aimed to test the efficiency of the Croatian Navy forces. The objective of the Exercise in 2018 was to upgrade  the operational capabilities and enhance the task implementation efficiency of the Croatian Navy units  This activity is held annually to check the effectiveness of HRM’s performance. The objectives of this year’s exercise were to increase the operational capabilities of HRM units and enhance their implementation of missions and tasks. The main authority was the Croatian Navy’s Flotilla, which engaged the “Vukovar” and  “Dubrovnik” missile boats, the “Cetina” and “Krka” landing craft-minelayer, the “Korčula” minehunter, the motor diver barge  the DJB-104, DJB-106 and DJB-107 landing ships, the MOL-1 and MOL.-2 mobile coastal launchers and a platoon of mine hunter divers. The support to the Exercise was provided by the Coastal Surveillance Battalion  and the Coast Guard vessels (the ”Andrija Mohorovičić“ training ship, the ”Faust Vrančić“salvage ship  and the ”Novigrad“ and ”Hrvatska Kostajnica“ patrol boats , which secured the training range area along with the Maritime Police of Šibenik. The Exercise “Barakuda 18“ kicked off in the early morning hours of 18, with the vessels of the Flotilla sailing out from the “Lora“ Navy Port towards ”Žirje”. The Exercise scenario previewed Coastal Surveillance Posts “Vis“ and “Žirje“ detecting a group of enemy vessels near the Cape Ploče ; the mine hunter divers took to searching the area, countermine clearing and missile boats secured and mobile coastal launchers secured the landing forces. The landing practice in the afternoon featured simulated boarding by forces  from one vessel to another, the landing forces disembark and the artillery fire against targets at sea. Upon returning to the mooring site in Rogoznica the members of the Flotilla practiced signal reception and transmission.  In the training range at Žirje the missile boats engaged targets with 23-mm and 57-mm guns, the landing craft-minelayers with 20-mm, 30-mm and 40-mm guns, and the landing ships with 20-mm guns respectively. Later in the day the LM- 51 practiced the destruction of mines and explosives, the missile boats practiced air defence procedures, while the landing craft-minelayers and landing ships practiced boarding and disembark by forces. The vessels joined the ramps simulating a real-life boarding situation in combat. The missile boats and landing craft-minelayers also practiced joint manoeuvers and transshipment of equipment from one to another vessel in compliance with NATO procedures. The third day featured SAR of a person lost at sea, followed by a ship towage practice, fault repair, fire extinguishing and water breakthrough handling procedures. The Croatian Navy is to display the capabilities in October, in the exercise “Velebit“ at the level of the Croatian Armed Forces, which will feature rocket firing, countermine search and sealift of the members of the Croatian Army during a landing operation. The performance of the Navy’s forces as seen in the “Barakuda 18“ leaves no doubt as to the success of any tasks assigned to it. Commander of “Barakuda 18“, Commander of the Croatian Navy Flotilla, Capt (N) Darko Matejčić. “Tactical live fire  exercises are the best opportunity to display the efficiency of the Croatian Navy; the Exercise “Barakuda“ is our regular traioing activity, whereby we organise, plan and perform live fiing of surf targets at sea. I am pleased as all participants have demonstrated knowledge and readiness but also a distinct level of operational capabilities required under the adopted Capability Targets. All planned activities have been successfully completed given high motivation and professionalism of the participants The decision making and the operational documents (in the English language) prepared well the conduct of the Exercise. The exercises of the kind are essential for the training, for which we need more days at sea“.