The 1st HRVCON to enhanced Forward Presence in the Republic of Lithuania had the send-off…
The first phase of the training of 18 candidates for the 2nd AVPD team (12 will be selected) was kicked-off at the training range at Udbina under the supervision of the instructors – the members of the 1st AVPD. The Detachment will be deployed to ATALANTA after 1 August 2016. We visited them at the training ground, where they were taking the pistol and automated gun handling training.
A year after the first Croatian Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment returned from EU NAVFOR SOMALIA (OPERATION ATALANTA), the candidates for the 2nd AVPD are preparing for the mission, where they will be deployed to after 1 August 2016
We visited the 18 candidates in the Josip Jović Barracks at Udbina during their first phase of the training – the small arms handling skills – under the supervision of the instructors. It is a life-saving skill for the members of the Team to be deployed protecting and deterring the ship from the attacks by pirates and hijacks.
The effective use of the arms in static mode or in movement, from various positions and at various distances, in reduced visibility conditions is an obligatory skill for the AVPD, whose duty implies facing various safety risks at sea or in ports of embarkation/disembarkation.
Lieutenant (N) Nenad Kontri, the Commander of the 1st Croatian AVPD team to EU NAVFOR SOMALIA is the instructor, assisting the future Detachment members. “Following our return from the Operation we immediately introduced modifications to the pre-deployment training for 2nd AVPD. The overall training in both phases has been tailored to the lessons learned from the Operation. We noticed some segments were over-trained withour real need, so they were reduced in the new training programme, and others that were detected as important have been enhanced. 12 out of 18 candidates will be selected for the Detachment to take part in ATALANTA. We will spend 2.5 weeks at Udbina practicing pistol and automated gun handling. After that we are moving to the Barracks in Knin, where we will conduct live firing from Browning and sniper rifle at the “Crvena zemlja” and “Bralovac”. The candidates will then go to Split to take a 1-week training in first aid in compliance with STANAG 2122. These will be followed by the initial evaluation by the Croatian Navy Command and the first evaluation by the Evaluator Team of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, which will declare the Detachment ready for the second phase of the pre-deployment training. The candidates will then take the classroom instruction familiarising them with the area of operations and with the tasks. We will then administer the hands-on training, which is the essential content for them“.
The 1st Croatian AVPD team spent 111 days (28 December 2014 – 4 March 2015) aboard the Merchant “Douro”, which transported and delivered humanitarian aid as part of the World Food Programme, during which time it crossed more than 7,000 miles from the port of Djibouti (Djibouti) to the Somali ports of Berbera, Bosaso, Mogadishu and Kismayo, the Tanzanian port of Dar-es-Salaam and Mombasa (Kenya) respectively, delivering 22,000 tons of food and other aid.
Throughout the period the Team members only left the ship three times and spent less tham 12 hours on the solid ground. The hard work and excellent results and reports earned them commendations from the Command and the Operation Atalanta Medal presented on them by the EU Naval Forces Commander, Rear-admiral Jonas Haggrem on 4 March 2015.