16:35 / 28.05.2023.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Admiral Hranj says Croatia is continually modernizing its armed forces

Croatian soldier at Jarun Lake in Zagreb

Croatian soldier at Jarun Lake in Zagreb

Foto: Jurica Galoic / PIXSELL

Sunday is Croatian Armed Forces Day. May 28th marks the 32nd anniversary of the formation of the Croatian Army and the first public parade of the National Guard Corps at Kranjčevićeva Stadium in Zagreb in 1991.

The day started with wreath laying ceremonies at Zagreb's Mirogoj Cemetery to honor of all those who gave their lives for Croatian independence and the civilian victims of the Serbian aggression. This was followed by mass at the Church of the Holy Mother of Freedom in Zagreb's Jarun neighborhood.

Top state officials joined senior officers of the Croatian Armed Forces at a formal academy hosted at the Zvonimir Home of the Croatian Army, where the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Admiral Robert Hranj, outlined Croatia's ongoing efforts to modernize its armed forces: “Our transformation is already underway. We are set to receive the powerful Rafale fighter jets, Blackhawk helicopters, Bradley armoured fighting vehicles, as well as additional Patria armoured vehicles. We're also set to receive new, powerful Howitzers. We're building ships for the Croatian Navy, including multi-purpose offshore ships. We're strengthening our capabilities in unmanned systems, and renewing our munitions reserves. We're further developing the mobility of our operational units, and soon we will have modern anti-air and anti-armoured systems. However, let us not forget that military service, including commanding operations and ultimately fighting wars, is first and foremost a human activity. And that we should expect that future wars will increasingly bear the hallmarks of urban warfare, which means horrific consequences, not just for soldiers, but for civilians as well.”

As is tradition, the Croatian Armed Forces organized a special meet and greet exhibit at Zagreb's Jarun Lake, where citizens were able to talk with active service members of the Croatian Army, and view first hand some of the equipment they use. Engineering Battalion Commander Major Robert Budimir Bekan: "Today is an excellent opportunity for young people interested in enlisting to come and meet with us here in Jarun, and to find out exactly what awaits them if they chose this calling in life."

The day also included an aerial program by the Croatian Air Force aerobatic display team the "Wings of Storm", as well as a fly-over by Air Force MiG-21's. Croatian Air Force pilot Major Antonia Trupinić: "I have been flying for 17 years now, and I fly this Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopter behind us. My colleague and I have already instructed a number of generations of pilots, and my colleagues and I look forward to teaching new generations."

Closing out the day's activities was a concert performance by the Croatian Army's Jazz orchestra.

Source: HRT

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