Croatian and British troops have successfully completed a joint exercise at a Croatian Army training ground outside Knin, the defence ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The closing part of the exercise, dubbed Croatian Dagger 2018, was attended by Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Mirko Šundov, and a British delegation led by Linda Dann, Head of European Bilateral Relations and EU Exit.
Krstičević said he was pleased he had a chance to see an excellent demonstration of interoperability between the Royal Marines and a Croatian Army guards brigade.
“I am glad that the United Kingdom and Croatia are strengthening their defence cooperation. We want to be a strong strategic partner and I believe we have a common interest in the stability of Southeast Europe and NATO’s involvement. I am confident that this exercise is just the beginning of a new chapter in our friendship,” the Croatian defence minister said.
Šundov said: “I am very proud of both sides, the Croatian and British. I recommend that we continue cooperating in this and similar events in the future.”
Dann said that the exercise was an excellent example of cooperation between the two countries in the area of security, adding that this has never been so important as it is today.
British Deputy Ambassador Peter Clements said this was an important step in deepening the relationship between the UK and Croatia, and that he was looking forward to similar training sessions in the future.
The exercise began on March 26 and involved 30 Royal Marines and 70 Croatian Army servicemen who practised tactics, techniques and procedures for convoy operations, patrols, checkpoints and urban environment operations, using Croatian-made assault rifles, bulletproof vests and helmets.
The purpose was to increase the interoperability of Croatian Army personnel and foreign armed forces, get acquainted with the operations of other units and gain experience for establishing a Croatian Marine unit.