Foto: MORH / J. Kopi

Croatian-British “FLYING SABRE 18” DVD at Pleso Air Base

The Distinguished Visitor Day of the Exercise “Flying Sabre 18” involving the members of the Croatian Air Force and the Royal Air Force from 16-20 July 2018 was held in the Barracks “Pukovnik Marko Živković” at Pleso on 19 July.

It was the first event of the kind for Croatian and British fighter squadrons, which fostered the alliance and upgraded the capabilities of the Croatian Air Force for operation in international environments and also raised the standards required to receive in the aircraft from Allied member nations.

The commander of the Croatian Air Force Brigadier General Mato Mikić, the Commander of the Fighter Aircraft Squadron Lieutenant Colonel Christian Jagodić, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom the Republic of Croatia H. E. Andrew Dalgleish and the Defence Attaché Lieutenant Colonel John Anthony Carswell Kelly all welcomed the co-operation of the armed forces of the two countries.

The Commander of the Croatian Air Force Brigadier General Mato Mikić said that the exercise of the FLYING SABRE were fulfilled and it affirmed the good co-operation between the two air forces.
Brig Gen. Mikić also stated: “I am glad to learn that the Croatian pilots have made such a good impression on their British colleagues. The training events of the kind serve to intensify our co-operation and raise our ambitions for new expertise with regard to the introduction of the mutli-role fighter aircraft in the Croatian Air Force by 2020. This Exercise showed that the Croatian pilots, air technicians and engineers will have little difficulty converting to the new F-16 fighter aircraft“, said the Commander of the Croatian Air Force.
The Exercise “Flying Sabre 18“ comprised a group flying training, VFR flying and close air combat.
Captain Lukan of the Fighter Squadron also commended the co-operation.
“Our objective was to test our preparedness and trainedness and to acquire new knowledge and enable our British colleagues gather new capabilities as well”.

“I am especially proud that the Exercise proved that the main difference between the Croatian and British pilot was in the aircraft used. The Croatian pilots continue training and preparing for a multi-role fighter aircraft“, said Cpt Lukan.
The Commander ofthe Fighter Squadron Lieutenant Colonel Jagodić presented the main objectives and the outcome of the Exercise, which showcased the readiness of the Croatian Air Force for the transition to western-made aircraft and which also developed the partner relations between Croatia and the United Kingdom.

“Our goal is to preserve peace and we have to ready to provide a most adequate and efficient response. THe Exercise was therefore focussed on joint planning of air operations, co-ordination and interoperability, as well as exchange of knowledge and experience and development of the partnership”, said Lt. Col. Jagodić.

Squadron Leader Ellis Williams emphasised learning also from the Croatian pilots.
It is a great pleasure to be here to work with our Croatian counterparts; this has been our first experience training with MIGs and we have had the opportunity to exchange experiences with our Croatian colleagues expert in different tactics and skills. RAF has a over 100 years of experience but the Croatian Air Force surely has brave and top-level pilots and we learned a lot from them”.

Vježba HRZ-a i RAF-a “FLYING SABRE 18”

Squadron Leader Ellis Williams also commended the Decision of the Republic of Croatia to procure multirole figther aircraft “F-16 is really a top aircraft and it will be both a challenge but also an advantage for your pilots as it has different armament and navigation system but it offers excitement and I am sure the Croatian pilots will enjoy flying it”.

Ambassador Dalgleish concluded by expressing belief in the future co-operation between the Croatian and the UK armed forces to contribute to the peace and security.

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