Croatia Increasing Number of Professional Soldiers

By 28 May 2017

The Defence Minister on plans for the development of Armed Forces.

As part of the festivities marking the Day of Armed Forces, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković visited Karlovac County, where he thanked Defence Minister Damir Krstičević for organising numerous events where people could witness the presentation of arms and capabilities of the Croatian Army, reports Večernji List on May 28, 2017.

“I think that Croatian citizens are in this way becoming better acquainted with the capabilities of the Croatian Army, given the today's security threats. We should, therefore, congratulate all the soldiers and officers for everything they have demonstrated here. In line with the plans of the Ministry of Defence, we have already made several decisions this year, including the one about an increase in the defence budget allocation and an admission of a certain number of new soldiers to the Armed Forces. We are doing everything we can, in accordance with our economic strength, to ensure that the size of our military corresponds to the needs which are essential for the defence of the country and for what is expected of us given our international obligations,” said Plenković.

Minister Krstičević said that around ten thousand people had visited barracks all over Croatia, which is proof that the Croatian people love the Croatian Army, which is a brand recognised by Croatian allies as well. “Our obligation is to strengthen the Croatian Army so that it would be able to perform all the tasks at any time. We are responsible for security, and therefore we are completing the process of drafting strategic national security documents and working on the law on the system of national security. We will also increase the number of members of the Armed Forces to 17,000,” said Krstičević.

He stressed that the Croatian soldier is fully equipped with Croatian products, adding that for the next international peacekeeping mission Croatian soldiers would be fitted with a Croatian rifle for the first time. “We are also about to introduce howitzers, while our Air Force is in the process of training our pilots for the Kiowa Warrior combat helicopters. We are also preparing the Navy for the new armoured warship, and our focus is to improve the standard of living for our soldiers and officers,” said the Defence Minister.