The legendary 5th Guards Brigade “Sokolovi“, marked its 25th anniversary
The 27th anniversary of the 2nd Guards Brigade “Gromovi“ and the 11th anniversary of the establishment of the 2nd Mechanised Battalion were marked in the Barracks “Pukovnik Predrag Matanović“ in Petrinjia on 15 May 2018. The ceremony featured wreath laying in the Chapel in the Barracks, and a mass celebrated by Mons.Janko Lulić. The main ceremony was attended by Brigadier General Boris Šerić as Envoy of the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces and of the Croatian Army Commander, by the Commander of the Guards Mechanised Brigade Brigadier General Tihomir Kundid, by the Commander of the 2nd Mechanised Battalion Major Ivan Radić, the representatives of the Sisak- Moslavina County, of the local government and of associations of the Croatian defenders. The attendees recalled a hero of the Homeland War – the wartime commander of the 2nd Guards Brigade Colonel Predrag Matanović, fallen while leading his unit’s attack during the Operation “Storm“ . His brother – Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Drago Matanović extended congratulations to the members of the 2nd Mechanised Battalion “Gromovi“ and shared his honour over taking part in victorious campaigns with the Brigade“Gromovi“ as combatant and commander. “The name you assumed symbolises victory, honour, pride and incredible strength. You should also be deign successors of the victorious Croatian Armed Forces. I wish you a lot of success in your future work“ , said Lt. Gen. Matanović. Brigadier General Boris Šerić reminded of the huge contribution of the 2nd Brigade during the Homeland War, as well as 206 killed and four missing members. “The members of the 2nd Brigade gave an enormous contribution throughout Croatia during the war, and their war history is characterised by honour, self-sacrifice and glory; it was one of the best guards brigades . Today, the Battalion “Gromovi“ is a backbone of the Guards Mechanised Brigade, and also an important component of the Croatian Army“. Brig. Gen. Kundid underlined the photos placed in the chapel exemplifying the contribution of the 2nd Guards Brigade to the freedom and independence of Croatia. The main ceremony also featured the presentation of the members of the Battalion with the symbolic green berets of “Gromovi“ and with the awards and certificates for the scores won in sport competitions. The Commander of the 2nd Mechanised Battalion Major Ivan Radić, appreciating the family members of the fallen and stressed that the principal mission of the Croatian Armed Forces was to defend Croatia and assist the citizens in need. “We are alwayst the first to arrive to the spot and we always complete our assignment. We take practice here in Croatia and abroad to grow better; your efforts have been fruitful and I am congratulating you on that“. The Anniversary ceremony was attended by the Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević. The Minister laid wreaths at the Sisak Cemetery Viktorovac, along with the Envoy of the President of the Republic of Croatia Ante Deur, the Envoy of the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces and the Commander of the Croatian Army, Brigadier General Boris Šerić and the Commander of the Guards Mechanised Brigade of the Croatian Army Brigadier General Tihomir Kundid. They also paid respects at the tombs of the wartime commander of the 2nd Guards Brigade, Colonel Predrag Matanović and of the wartime Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Army, General of the Army Janko Bobetko. The Minister congratulated the members of the 2nd Guards Brigade on the anniversary, stressing: “The guards brigades are a pride of the Homeland War. The Croatian Armed Forces have guarded the memory of guards brigades, who have a considerable merit in their modern status of a guarantee of peace and security of Croatia”. The Chariman of the Association of Wartime Veterans of the 2nd Guards Brigade, Lt. Col. Ivan Krapec (Ret.) underlined the importance of the guarding of the memory of the 2nd Guards, and brought up a recently published monograph, which will shortly be distributed in schools, as a reminder for the youth of the heavy toll paid for the freedom. The ceremony programme featured a drill with the military working dogs of the Military Police Regiment and a martial arts drill by the Special Forces Command, as well as a flypast by the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter and a performance by the “Wings of Storm” Aerobatic Group. The mass for the fallen, missing and deceased members of the 2nd Guards Brigade was celebrated by Mons Mladen Vidak in the church of St. Marija in Sisak. The members of the Croatian Armed Forces marched through the town to the Ban Jelačić Square in Sisak, the site of the static display of the weapons and equipment.