Fourth “Smart Defence” Event at the “Zemunik” Barracks

The 4th Air Advisory Team Pre-deployment Training Course for the Croatian, Czech and Hungarian Air Advisory personnel commenced at the 93rd Croatian Air Force and Air Defence Base (“Zemunik” Barracks) on Monday 6th May 2013.

The Course constitutes a joint training event for the helicopter crews and maintenance technicians within the pre-deployment training and preparation for ISAF as Air Advisory Team for the Afghanistan Air Force by NATO standards and procedures.

The Course was co-designed by the Croatian and Czech Air Force teams, with the advisory support from the U. S. Special Operations Command for Europe (SOCEUR), and has been filed into the “Smart Defence” Initiative. The crews completed the initial part of the Course at flight simulator in Ostrava, Czech Republic, which was followed by two-week advanced flight training on the Mi 171 Sh helicopters of the Croatian Air Force and the Mi-24 fighter helicopter of the Czech Air Force respectively.

The trainees were welcomed by the Chief of the Staff of the 93rd Air Base, Lt. Col. Davor Tretinjak, an ISAF participant himself, who shared his own experiences from mentoring of Afghan Air Force members and emphasized the role of the Course as a well-conceived and well-prepared innovative entry to ISAF.

The 4th Course is a preparation of the personnel for assignment to Mazar-e-Sharif. The Croatian Air Advisors have become the Coalition’s Lead Nation for Afghan Air Force personnel and the sole qualified flying mission advisory team.

“The fact that Croatian Air Advisory Team has been invested with the role of Coalition’s Lead Nation speaks of the high standards implemented by the Croatia team since the first advisory missions. The Courses of the AAT contribute to consistency of approach by all multinational mentoring teams. The Courses are also an occasion for trainees to interact closer, in addition to the official communication, to become a well-coordinated team. The experiences from the former terms are a welcome aid for further preparation and training for the mission assigned to us in order to capacitate the Afghanistan Air Force to operate autonomously to fulfill all requests placed before the flying and maintenance personnel in Afghanistan”, stated the Commander of the 4th Course, Lt. Col. Michael Križanec.