The first component of the 19th HRVCON, composed of 12 members of the Croatian Armed…
A send-off ceremony for the 4th Croatian Contingent participating in NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in the Republic of Poland was held at Barracks “Bilogora” in Bjelovar on 19th April.
The send-off ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence Damir Krstičević, the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Staff General Mirko Šundov, Special Advisor to the Minister of Defence Božo Kožul, MP Miro Totgergeli, the Commander of the Croatian Army Major General Siniša Jurković as well as the representatives of the City of Bjelovar, the Bjelovar-Bilogora County and Homeland War veterans’ associations.
The Minister of Defence Damir Krstičević extended his appreciation to the members of the 4th Croatian Contingent and their families, pointing out that NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence was a proof of North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s solidarity with its member states. He further underlined that Croatia demonstrated its dedications to NATO’s values by participating in the initiative. “I ask of you to represent the honourable and victorious Croatian Armed Forces with dignity at all times, no matter where you are,” said Mr Krstičević to the soldiers.
“With your presence in the area of operations, you contribute to the deference of threats and to the establishment of peace and security,” said General Mirko Šundov, emphasizing that Croatia’s participation in the initiative was a proof of its solidarity with its partner states and its commitment to the Alliance’s joint objectives.
Major General Siniša Jurković said he expected the members of the 4th Croatian Contingent to carry out their tasks and represent the Republic of Croatia as successfully as their predecessors. “The level of motivation, expertise and readiness which you demonstrated during your pre-deployment training fills me with pride,” said Major General Jurković.
The Commander of the 4th Croatian Contingent Major Predrag Srđenović said the Contingent’s members had had to undergo a long and demanding training and evaluation process before being deemed ready to join the USA-led Battle Group Poland in NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence. “We are prepared and highly motivated for the challenge of conducting artillery activities in a multinational environment,” said Major Srđenović.
“A combination of youth and experience, this contingent will most certainly complete its mission and present the Republic of Croatia to the world in a favourable light, as has been the case with previous Croatian contingents in this activity,” said Command Sergeant Major Branko Mlinarić, the Command Senior Enlisted Leader of the 4th Croatian Contingent.
Vocal Enseble “Sv. Matej” (St Matthew) performed at the send-off ceremony, while Reverend Damir Vrabec invoked a blessing on the members of the Contingent before their deployment.
The 4th Croatian Contingent in NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence is comprised of 76 men and four women. The main authority in the Contingent is the artillery, whose task is to integrate the Contingent into the USA-led Battle Group Poland and train with the armed forces of other nations (Romania and the United Kingdom) in the Group.
Text by DORIS RAVLIĆ
Photo by JOSIP KOPI
Translation by IVA GUGO