4th Anniversary of CAF in NATO and 10th in ISAF

Four years of the Republic of Croatia’s full NATO membership and 10 years of participation in the ISAF Operation were marked at the ceremony in Zagreb today, 4 April 2013.

The Officers Club of the Croatian Defence Academy “Petar Zrinski” in Zagreb hosted today, 4 April 2013, a ceremony marking the fourth anniversary of Croatia’s full membership in NATO and 10th anniversary of its participation in the ISAF Operation. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Republic of Croatia, Ivo Josipović, the Defence Minister, Ante Kotromanović, the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Drago Lovrić, the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Evelin Tonković, generals, admirals and other senior members of the Armed Forces, representatives of the Ministry of Defence, former Chiefs of the General Staff, the representatives of religious communities and of the Military Diplomatic Corps and others.

President Josipović in his address extended his congratulations to the promoted, decorated and commended members of the Ministry of Defence and of the Armed Forces in recognition to their outstanding contribution, along with that of many other officers, to freedom and independence of Croatia, democratic development and co-operation with the Allies within NATO: “We are responsible for future development of our Armed Forces and for their enhanced integration into NATO”, stated the President. Speaking of the current challenges before the Armed Forces, the President said that the notion of security was nowadays far broader, and threats were taking different forms, and concluded that “However, successful co-operation in international missions, and co-ordination with civil society organisations participating in missions for the benefit of the civilian community have proved that we have highly motivated and expert defence and security organisation”.

The address was followed by presentation of decorations and promotions.  
The Order of Duke Branimir, for their outstanding service in promoting the international status and reputation of the Croatian state and its relations with other countries was presented to General of the Army (ret.) Anton Tus, Lt. Gen. Drago Lovrić, Zoran Drča, Dragan Lozančić, Ambassador Igor Pokaz, Pjer Šimunović, Brig. Gen. Mate Pađen and Brig. Gen. Josip Petrović (ret.).

For meritorious contribution to the establishment and development the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia, at the occasion of the 4th anniversary of their integration into NATO, the Order of Vice-Roy Jelačić was presented to Brig. Gen. Ivan Beneta, Brig. Gen. Zdravko Klanac, Cdre TIhomir Erceg, Cdre Robert Hranj, Col. Blaž Beretin, Col. Senad Fejzić, Col. Ivica Kinder, Col. Ivica Olujić, Col. Darko Pintarić, Col. Ivan Raos, Col. Boris Šerić. Col. Boris Trnski, Capt (N) Ivan Anić, Capt. (N).Predrag Stipanović, Capt (N) Milan Žunić, Lt. Col. Vlatko Bandalo, Lt.. Col. Dražen Budinski, Lt. Col. Goran Novoselić, Lt. Col Ivica Raguž, Lt. Col. Tihomir Zebec and Lt. Col. Tomislav Birko (posthumously).

Furthermore, the Order of the Croatian Trefoil was presented to one general officer, 36 officers and one non-commissioned officer, and the Order of the Croatian Three-Strand Pattern to two general officers, 33 officers, 12 non-commissioned officers and two civilian employees respectively.

At the same occasion, pursuant to the Decisions of the President of the Republic as the Supreme Commander, 79 members of the Ministry of Defence and of the Armed Forces have received their promotions (Brig. Gen. Mate Pađen to the rank of Major General, Capt (N) Predrag Stipanović to the rank of Commodore, Col. Siniša Jurković to the rank of Brig. Gen, and Lt. Cols Darko Možnik, Ivan Smojver and Tihomir Zebec to the rank of Colonel). Seven major officers have been promoted to the ranks of Lt. Col. and Commander (N) respectively, 15 officers to the ranks of Major and Lt. Commander (N), 18 officers to the ranks of Captain and Lieutenant (N) and 33 officers to the ranks of 1st.  Lt.  and Lt Junior Grade (N).

The ceremony was concluded by a projection of the film “Participation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia in the ISAF Operation”, by the Multimedia Department of the Ministry of Defence’s Public Affairs and Publishing Service, and by a presentation of the book “Military Police Corps – Building and Keeping the Peace”, published by the Croatian Military Publications Department of the Public Affairs and Publishing Service.
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