Pilot Training Center for Special Unit opened in Croatia

Photo: Ministarstvo odbrane Republike Hrvatske

Air Force Base near Zadar has been officially opened at Zemunik these days. A facility which will be used by the armies of Bulgaria, Slovenia and Hungary, as well as members of the armies of other interested NATO members. The training center for special unit helicopter pilots. It will serve for the implementation of the so-called The “Multinational Special Aviation Program” (MSAP) which includes special theoretical and practical training for members of the Air Force whose duty is to transport special forces. On this occasion, the Croatian Ministry of Defense announced that the training of pilots will be carried out according to the latest programs and that those who pass it will contribute to the increase of interoperability in compliance with all set NATO standards.

“MSAP is the first international NATO body to have the potential to become the new NATO Center of Excellence. It is also a confirmation of Croatia as a credible NATO member. We build new capabilities that are significant to our country, to the Croatian Army, to NATO and more importantly, we are building the future together with our partners and allies. I am proud that the best pilots will be trained in Zemunik to conduct special forces operations, ”said Damir Krsticevic, Croatian Defense Minister.

The opening of the center at Zemunik was attended by NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment Kamil Grand, NATO Commander-in-Chief of Special Operations General Erik P. Wendt, as well as the Ministers of Defense of Bulgaria, Slovenia and Hungary. After the ceremony, members of the Croatian Air Force and the NATO Special Forces Command conducted a military exercise demonstrating the infiltration of special forces into a group of terrorists and their neutralization. Otherwise, Zadar has been selected as the center of the special unit helicopter pilot training center because of its specific terrain configuration. It enables pilots to be trained at sea, islands and mountains. It has been announced that in the new training center, which will start operating next year, the first twelve months will only be theoretical training and from 2021 will begin flying lessons.

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