Largest military exercise in the history of Croatian armed forces
Croatian armed forces have performed large military exercises during three days from the 12 to 15 October 2018, code named Velebit 18 - Joint Force. It was the biggest military exercise in the history of the Croatian armed forces.
Croatian army main battle tank M84 at military exercise Velebit 18 - Joint Force (Picture source Croatia MoD)
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 Defense of the Republic of Croatia on 2 October 2018.
"Velebit 18 - Joint Force" was a 72-hour inter-services comprehensive exercise involved all combat units of the Croatian Armed Forces including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Forces and cyber forces, conducted at military locations throughout Croatia from 13 to 15 October 2018. It took place at 11 locations throughout Croatia, involving 5,500 soldiers and reservists of all army units.
This military exercise was an opportunity for the Croatian armed forces to demonstrate their abilities to perform modern combat operations with different scenarios.
Velebit 18 - Joint Force was officially opened by the Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and the Croationa Ministry of Defense. "This the largest military exercise in Croatia since the Homeland War, all military forces will demonstrate their high readiness and capabilities to response to the new threats and guarantee the country's security and stability.", said President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
The total number of active military personnel in the Croatian Armed Forces is around 14,500 military personnel and 6,000 reserves working in various service branches of the armed forces.
Although the budget has been decreased from year to year, the Croatian Armed Forces were able to maintain military readiness and to participate in major NATO exercises in Croatia and overseas. A long term modernization plan for 2015-2024 has been published on the Ministry of Defense of Croatia website. According to earlier reports from the government, the Croatian Armed Forces are set to receive new combat equipment, including a battalion of self-propelled howitzers, new infantry fighting vehicles, new helicopters and a squadron of fighter aircraft.