The delegation of the Assembly of Kosovo , composed of members sitting on its various…
The send-off ceremony for the 10th Croatian contingent in NATO’s mission Resolute Support in Afghanistan was held in Barracks “Lieutenant Colonel Marko Živković” in Pleso on 1st March.
Along with the members of the contingent and their families, the ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević as the envoy of the President of the Republic of Croatia and the Commander-in-Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces; the Director of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Vice-Admiral Robert Hranj; U.S. Defence Attaché Colonel Robert Mathers; the Defence Attaché of the Federal Republic of Germany Lieutenant Colonel Dirk Andreas Bocklet; the representatives of the diplomatic corps and military-diplomatic corps as well as the members of the Albanian Armed Forces.
Minister Krstičević reminded the guest at the ceremony that the military calling was complicated and required a lot of sacrifice. He stressed that the support of a soldier’s family was important for it helped the soldier be calm, collected and focused on the task lying ahead of them. He emphasized that the security of NATO, Croatia included, was not defended on Croatian borders, but in the place of a threat’s origin.
“Whatever duty you perform in the mission, your own safety and the safety of your colleagues should always come first. I am certain that you will demonstrate that there are no insurmountable challenges for a Croatian soldier,” Minister Krstičević said. He roused the members of the 10th Croatian Contingent to exchange their experiences with the members of partner armed forces, learn from them and pass their own knowledge onto them. In conclusion, he sent the following message: “Just like your predecessors, be respectful of the country where you will be staying. Along with professionalism and responsibility, this has been a recognizable trait of the victorious Croatian Armed Forces in Afghanistan and the rest of the world. Perform your duties honourably and professionally. Return to your homeland as proudly as you are leaving it.”
Visibly proud of the members of the Croatian Armed Forces, who have been helping in the restoration of peace and security in Afghanistan with dedication and dignity since 2003, the Director of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Vice-Admiral Robert Hranj stated that participating in a mission opened one’s horizons, motivated one for new challenges and enriched one with new experiences: “I am convinced that you are prepared for challenges and surprises that you could be faced with while conducting your tasks. Our contribution to the training and mentoring of the Afghan National Security Forces is appreciated by the Afghan people and other participants in the mission. Each of our contingents has left a positive trace on the mission. Represent your homeland and your armed forces with dignity, just like your predecessors,” Vice-Admiral Hranj said.
The Commander of the 10th Croatian Contingent Colonel Dragiša Konsa said that he felt proud to serve his homeland, stating his belief that the contingent would justify the trust placed in them and continue the tradition of their predecessors in Afghanistan. “The members of the 10th Croatian Contingent are adorned with a high level of trainedness, physical readiness, courage and responsibility, which is a guarantee that all tasks awaiting them in the area of operation will be executed successfully. The Croatian soldier has always made their homeland and their people proud with their responsible and honourable execution of their duties in the country and abroad,” Colonel Konsa said.
The 10th Croatian Contingent is being deployed to the area of operation in mission Resolute Support in Afghanistan with two military working dogs. It is comprised of 104 men and women. They will be joined by 41 members of armed forces of partner countries in the A5 Initiative: 31 members of the Armed Forces of Montenegro, six members of the Army of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, two members of the Albanian Armed Forces and two members of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The members of the 10th Croatian Contingent will be deployed at the Train Advise and Assist Command – North (TAAC – N) in Mazār-e Sharīf and HQ Resolute Support in Kabul. They will advise the Afghan military, police and training institutions, protect advisory teams and perform duties in the mission’s headquarters.
Since 2003, 5374 members of the Croatian Armed Forces have gone to Afghanistan to take part in missions International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Resolute Support. This includes the 9th Croatian Contingent, which is currently in the area of operation.
Text by IVA VARGA
Photo by JOSIP KOPI
Translation by IVA GUGO