The Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević on 3 March visited the Guards Mechanised Brigade of the Croatian Army, stationed in the Barracks "Pukovnik Predrag Matanović" in Petrinja.
The Minister and the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, accompanied by the Commander of the Croatian Army, Lieutenant General Mate Ostović, were welcomed by the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Brigade, Colonel Željko Nakić, the Commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion "Tigrovi", Major Mario Mlinarić and the Commander of the 2nd Motorised Battalion “Gromovi", Major Roman Kelnerić. The delegation laid wreaths and lighted the candles at the Chapel of “St. Elias the Prophet“, paying the respects to the fallen members of the Guards Mechanised Brigade. Visiting the Barracks, named after a hero of the Homeland War, Lt. Col. Predrag Matanović, the Minister observed the working and living environment of the Brigade members. The Brigade staff delivered a presentation on the installation, the units housed and the capacities provided, including the shooting range, the training grounds and the Ammunition Depot “Brdo". The Minister Krstičević underlined the benefit of the youth and experience of the Brigade personnel and the imperative to keep the memory of the Homeland War. He also re-iterated the importance of the human resources as the decisive element.
“The Croatian Government halted the decrease in the defence budget and is working on restoring the dignity of the personnel of the Croatian Armed Forces. Our focus is on the improved working and living conditions for our enlisted soldiers, NCOs and officers“. The Minister reiterated that some units of the Croatian Armed Forces would be stationed in Vukovar and Sinj again. The Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Mirko Šundov commended the consistently successful performance of both battalions - "Tigrovi" and "Gromovi" in training and exercises and emphasised the upgrade of asset maintenance standard. "We have to upgrade the standards in all domains, ranging from the infrastructure and equipment to the human resources management and to use optimally the allocated funds“, said the Chief of the General Staff, who also underlined the importance of prioritisation in the operation of the Croatian Armed Forces. The delegation of the Ministry of Defence and of the Croatian Armed Forces visited the training facilities (the SATTS training simulator, the AMV “Patria“ driving simulator, the maintenance workshops and hangars housing the “Patrias“, the existing, the temporary and newly built accomodation facilities for the members of the two battalions and the Ammunition Depot “Brdo".
The Barracks "Pukovnik Predrag Matanović" in Petrinja occupies ca 320 h and is an installation of strategic importance for the Croatian Armed Forces. It comprises the training grounds, depots, training ranges and an ammunition depot and houses the members of the Guards Mechanised Brigade of the Croatian Army, the 1st and the 2nd Motorised Battalion (“Tigrovi“ and “Gromovi“), the 1st Battalion of the Logistic Regiment and the support battalion. The modernisation works have been under way, including the construction of accomodation, command, training and storage facilities, the construction and reconstruction of traffic and utilities infrastructure and the renovation of the existing facilities to upgrade the working, accomodating and training standards of the Croatian Armed Forces.