The unit joined the battle group as late as November last year and then participated in Sweden during the NBG final exercise "Joint Action". On Monday the Croatian helicopter unit was thanked for its efforts. In place at the unit’s home base in the Croatian capital of Zagreb was head of the Expeditionary Air Wing, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Cauwenbergh, and Force Commander Brigadier-General Stefan Andersson:
“After the final exercise, there were some items that needed to be developed. That was done in the spring. Today there are 17 days of readiness remaining and the unit is still carrying out maintenance training in addition to regular duties. This is clear proof that the unit takes its role very seriously, and it feels a little sad to part with them.”
The Croatian contribution consisted of two M 171’s, which are well-proven and robust, Russian helicopters and two medical teams with doctors:
“This capability has been a very good complement to our Swedish Helicopter 15’s, said Stefan Andersson. “The Croatians have made an already effective health care chain even better and I am very grateful.”
Not the last time
This was the first time that Croatia has participated in EU battle groups, but not the last. It has already been decided that the country will contribute troops to a German-led battle group in 2012 and Pjer Simunovic does not exclude the possibility that Croatia will participate in a planned Swedish-led battle group in 2014:
“No, I do not. Our contribution to the Nordic Battle Group can be seen as the beginning of a wonderful friendship. It was love at first sight,” says Pjer Simunovic.