Thursday, 23 June 2022

Defence Minister Promises Further Strengthening Of Army Capabilities

ZAGREB, 23 June 2022 - Defence Minister Mario Banožić on Thursday during a working visit to the Croatian Navy at the "Admiral Sveto Letica-Barba" barracks in Split commented on the upcoming Defence Strategy of the Republic of Croatia and Long-Term Development Plan of the Croatian Armed Forces.

Thanking the members of the Croatian Navy (HRM) for impeccably carrying out their duties, the defence minister said that the Croatian government would continue to pursue a policy of strengthening the capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence (MORH) said.

He recalled that many measures had been adopted with regard to the improvement of the material rights and living and working conditions of soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers, and that since 2016 the salaries of active military personnel had been rising continuously every year, MORH said.

Banožić said that amendments to the law regulating the service in the Croatian Army introduced the first, two-year fixed-term, contract for sailors and soldiers and after that the next contract as permanent one.

"The new solution provides job safety and the possibility of life planning with all the rights related to permanent employment. In 2020 and 2021, 70 sailors were employed in this way," the defence minister said.

He also underscored significant investments in the Croatian Armed Forces, such as the procurement of multi-purpose fighter jets and the Black Hawk helicopters for the Croatia Air Force, Bradley fighting vehicles for the Croatian Ground Army, and the construction of patrol vessels for the Croatian Navy.

Patrol vessels will improve the ability to monitor and protect the rights and interests of Croatia at sea, the minister said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

PM Reports on Meeting with Defense Minister on US Bradley M2A2 ODS Offer

ZAGREB, 3 Jan 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in a Twitter post on Monday that a meeting was held with Defense Minister Mario Banožić and representatives of the Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces regarding the US offer to equip the Croatian Army with the Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

"Meeting with Minister Banožić and representatives of the Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces on the US government's offer to equip the Croatian Army with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. We want the investment to be good and sustainable in the long run for the Croatian Army," the PM said on Twitter on Monday afternoon.

The Defense Ministry said on its website on 28 December that Minister Banožić took part in a working meeting with PM Plenković and government members as well as Armed Forces officials focusing on further investment and modernization of the Croatian Army, with emphasis on the US Bradley M2A2 ODS offer.

The meeting underlined the government's commitment to strengthening all branches of the military for the sake of a successful response to defense and security challenges as well as achieving the highest security on land, at sea, and in the air.

Regarding the Bradley offer, the Defense Ministry and the General Staff were requested to provide additional explanations on the offer as a good long-term investment for the land forces, the Ministry said on 28 December.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Defence Minister Says Has Demanded Report On Faulty Helicopters

ZAGREB, Aug 19, 2020 - Defence Minister Mario Banozic said on Wednesday that he had demanded a renewed report on the cases involving faulty helicopters and their overhaul.

Coming to Government House in Zagreb for an inner cabinet meeting, Banozic was asked by the press about the faults found on Croatian Air Force helicopters, and explained that two faults had been found and that Croatia had demanded the removal of those faults by those who had already performed the overhaul and this would be done at their expense.

He recalled that the overhauled helicopters had registered over 1,000 flight hours in a year.

The minister dismissed as tendentious, media reports that one of the faulty helicopters had intentionally been put at the disposal of the president, which was why he (Zoran Milanovic) was prevented from flying.

Asked about the priorities facing the ministry's organisation in the autumn, Banozic announced the reduction of the number of employees in his department.

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Thursday, 7 May 2020

Minister of Defense Damir Krsticevic Announces Resignation

May 7, 2020 - An extraordinary press conference of the Ministry of Defense started at 7:45 pm in Zemunik, after a military plane crashed after 4 pm, killing two soldiers. During the press conference, Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic announced his resignation.

Minister of Defense Damir Krsticevic and Armed Forces Chief of the General Staff spoke at the conference concerning the military plane crash, reports

Admiral Robert Hranj said instructor Lieutenant Marko Novkovic was killed in the crash.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. An investigative commission has been formed. Hranj expressed his condolences to the families.

It was said at the conference that the plane crashed half an hour after takeoff. There were no problems with the plane, and Marko Novkovic was a very experienced pilot.

Minister Damir Krsticevic said that it was very difficult to lose a soldier. He remembered the accident that happened in January in Zablace, where two soldiers also lost their lives. Krsticevic received information about today's accident shortly after 4 pm. He expressed his condolences to the families.

"I received information around 4 pm that an accident had taken place. I immediately went to Zemunik. During the trip, I heard from the president and the prime minister and informed them about this event. It is tough to lose a Croatian soldier, and it is difficult for every defense minister and every commander in the Croatian Army. As we know, three months ago, we had a tragic helicopter accident when we also lost two young lives.

What is important is that everything is investigated, I am talking about the whole system, and the truth must be told and we must be transparent about everything. We are forming a commission with the chief aviation investigator who needs to do a detailed investigation into this event," the minister said.

"I also ordered the Chief of the General Staff to form his own commission to investigate all military circumstances and to look into everything that needs to be investigated," Krsticevic added.

"Our task is to be with families and we will provide all the necessary help and support. Everything we know and can do. As Minister of Defense, I want to express my condolences to all members of the Croatian Air Force and the entire army. This is a huge loss for the Croatian Army. As of today, I am resigning from the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Republic of Croatia," Krsticevic concluded.

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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Croatia-USA Defence Forum Held

ZAGREB, November 14, 2019 - Croatia can be proud of its defence industry and the progress it has made, Defence Minister Damir Krstičević said at a Croatia-USA defence forum in Zagreb on Wednesday, according to a statement from the ministry.

The event was organised with the aim of encouraging further economic cooperation and relations between the USA and Croatia in the defence and security sector.

"Croatia is turning resolutely to the future in terms of state policy, research and economy. We are particularly proud of the Croatian defence industry and the progress it has made," the minister said, citing in that context the UTILIS company, which was granted co-funding by the European Structural and Investment Funds for a 4.5 million kuna project which the European Defence Agency has called the first full defence project to be awarded money from the European Structural and Investment Funds.

Krstičević said that the EU and Croatia were strategic partners to the USA, noting that Croatia-USA defence cooperation was strong, constant and very concrete, as evidenced by numerous US donations of various military and other equipment in the last 20 years.

The Croatian-US defence forum was organised by the American-Central European Business Association and the Croatian Defence Industry Competitiveness Cluster, in cooperation with the US Embassy, the Defence Ministry and the Zagreb Innovation Centre.

The event was also attended by US Ambassador Robert Kohorst and Croatia's Ambassador to the USA, Pjer Šimunović.

Ambassador Kohorst said that over the past decade the USA had invested more than 600 million euro worth of assistance in Croatia's defence sector, adding that he looked forward to the further development of Croatia-USA relations.

More news about relations between Croatia and the USA can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Survey Says: How Did Croatians Rank Their Government and Ministers?

The people of Croatia have spoken in a survey evaluating their government and it's ministers.