“I am proud of all of you. In this demanding activity, you have shown the ability, motivation, and readiness of the Croatian soldier,” said Minister Banožić
On Friday, 11 February 2022, Defence Minister Mario Banožić met with the members of the 8th Croatian Contingent who had recently returned from NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) mission in the Republic of Poland. Croatian soldiers who stood out for their achievements met with the Minister at the Ministry of Defence.
Minister Banožić welcomed the members of the 8th Contingent to the Ministry of Defence.
“It is a pleasure to see you again after our meeting in Poland. Congratulations on the exceptional results that you, members of the 8th Croatian Contingent, have achieved in Poland while participating in this joint mission,” the Minister said.
Emphasizing that members of the Croatian Armed Forces are highly appreciated in international missions and operations, Mr Banožić added that allies and partners had expressed great respect for Croatian contribution to those important joint activities with their knowledge and skills.
“We demonstrated high levels of knowledge and resourcefulness. I am proud of you all. In this demanding activity, you showed the ability, motivation, and readiness of the Croatian soldier”, the Minister said.
Commenting on the 18.6-mile (app. 30 km) long endurance race known as “Norwegian Foot March”, Minister congratulated chaplain Josip Kešinović and Sgt. Matija Radielović, emphasizing that they and other team members were highly successful in this competition, showed exceptional determination, concentration, desire, and willpower. “Once again, congratulations on your contribution! You did a fantastic job,” said Minister Banožić.
The Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Siniša Jurković, congratulated the members of the 8th HRVCON and thanked them for carrying out their tasks professionally and efficiently, thus contributing to global security. “You have safely returned home after fully completing your demanding tasks. Participation in missions brings great value to every soldier, non-commissioned officer, and officer, thus making them more efficient in their functional areas. It enables every man and woman to become better soldiers and persons,” said Lieutenant General Jurković.
The contingent commander, Captain Dario Bilješković, said that excellent work had been done in eight rotations of Croatian contingents and emphasized that Polish people greatly appreciate the contribution of the Croatian Armed Forces. He expressed confidence that the next contingent from the CAF, which will deploy the Panzer Howitzers to Poland, will demonstrate additional readiness and capabilities.
On behalf of the Contingent members, Chaplain Josip Kešinović thanked the Minister for the reception and great support. “We are proud of all the achievements we accomplished in competitions where everyone contributed in the best possible way,” he said.
The 8th Contingent participated in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission in Poland from 5 July 2021 to 24 January 2022. It was comprised of 80 members of the CAF (Croatian Army, Support Command, and Military Police Regiment). During the activities, the 8th HRVCON conducted a series of military exercises and joint activities with other nations from the Battle Group and participated in tactical and technical tasks and various sports activities in which our members achieved exceptional results. The members of the 8th HRVCON, who stood out for their achievements and were received by Minister Banožić, are as follows: Contingent Commander (CPT) Dario Bilješković, Deputy Contingent Commander (1LT) Teo Viček, NSE Head (1LT) Jere Mijalić, Contingent Sergeant Major Roman Breitenbach, Military Police Team Commander (SFC) Ivan Miletić, gunner Filip Lovrić, cannoneer soldier Filip Simunović, Chaplain Josip Kešinović and Military Police Sergeant Matija Radielović.