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Exercise "Velebit 18 – Joint Force" presented

Foto: MORH / M. Čobanović
Foto: MORH / M. Čobanović

The military exercise  “Velebit 18 - Joint Force" as the main training event of the Croatian Armed Forces in the current year 2018 was presented in the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia on 2 October 2018.

It was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević and by the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces General Mirko Šundov, by  the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Defence Committee  of the Croatian Parliament Igor Dragovan  and Anđelko Stričak, alongside the commanders of the services and units of the Croatian Armed Forces.

"Velebit 18 - Joint Force" is a 72-hour interservice comprehensive exercise of all units of the Croatian Armed Forces: Army forces, Navy forces, Air Force and Special Forces  and cyber forces, to be conducted at military locations throughout Croatia from 13 to 15 October 2018.
The Exercise Commander of the exercise and Commander of the "Joint Force" operation will be the  Director of the Chief ofthe General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Vice-Admiral Robert Hranj, and Deputy Commander of the Exercise is the Chief of the Operations Directorate of the General Staff Brigadier General Senad Fejzić.

Minister Krstičević said that the objective of “Velebit 18“  was to present the entire spectrum of the capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces: fast and efficient maneuver, integration of forces, controlled and precise fire control  and synchronised operation, and also to display the achieved level of capabilities for defence of the Republic of Croatia.

"The Exercise concludes the two-year training and practice cycle and is an opportunity to showcase excellence in all areas and  at all levels. To rationalise the costs the Exercise is to combine several  service and mixed  exercises conducted individually hereto (UDAR, HARPUN, BARAKUDA and ŠTIT) ",said the Minister Krstičević who also announced that the Exercise would be attended by the strategic partners of the Minnesota National Guard.
"The Exercise will be an opportunity to test the introduction of the new weapons and equipment into the operational service, including the Croatia-made tactical radio device, which is of high importance for the domestic defence industry. In view of our ambition and duty to build and develop a modern military system, all components of the information environment have been scrutinised; the emphasis is placed on force protection and assistance to the civilian population“, said the Minister.

The Exercise will engage ca  5,500 members of the Croatian Armed Forces and some of the reserve component, as well as combat and non-combat equipment and weapons of all units. The Exercise isl preceded by the smaller scale exercises Kuna 18 and Patria 18, serving as a preparation for the main training event.

The Chief of the General Staff extended appreciation to the entire staff engaged in planning and shared the conviction in a successful  completion of the Exercise.

"The Exercise Velebit 18 – Joint Force refers to the Croatian Armed Forces commitment to defend the Republic of Croatia and the Allies. The Exercise is named after the longest mountain and the natural boundary between the coastline and the hinterland; which held an important place in the  history of Croatia, all until the Homeland War.

THe Exercise will comprise the proper combat tasks as well as modern-day threats, including combating terrorism, urban warfare and cyber defence at the operational and tactical levels“.

The Head of the Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces and assigned Deputy Commander of “Velebit 18“  Brigadier General  Senad Fejzić, delivered a presentation of the Exercise  and said that the planning and conduct of the Exercise the remarks will serve to collect lessons learned, to be used for similar activities.

"The activities within the Exercise will be conducted without affecting everyday life of the locals, and our intention is to organise a comprehensive exercise of the kind  triannually to test and integrate all levels of the Croatian Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia. Velebit 18 is a joint force exercise, the main principle guiding the combat operations engaging various services and led by a  joint forces commander", said Brig. Gen.Fejzić..

The Joint Force Command will be located in the Barracks "Josip Jović" at Udbina, and subordinated commands will be established  in the training range “Eugen Kvaternik“ near Slunj ("North" Command) and in the training ground "Dugi otok" (“Jug“).

The commanders of the  Command "Sjever" (North) is  Major General Siniša Jurković, the Commander of the Croatian Army, and the commander of the Command "Jug" (South) is Commodore Ivo Raffanelli, the Commander of the Croatian Navy.

The Exercise will be conducted in 11 training venues and training ranges throughout Croatia (the Barracks  ''Josip Jović'' at Udbina, the training ranges  and grounds ''Eugen Kvaternik'',  ''Gašinci'', ''Gakovo'', ''Kupa'', ''Cerovac'', ''Rt Kamenjak'', ''Dugi otok'', ''Žirje'', ''Zečevo'' and  “Crvena zemlja").

Foto: MORH / M. Čobanović 

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