The Technical Agreement between the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia and the Multinational Special Aviation Programme Training Centre (MSAP TC) concerning the host nation support was signed in the Ministry of Defence in Zagreb on 1 June 2020.
The Agreement, outlining the material, logistic, administrative and personnel support to be provided by the Ministry of Defence for the operation and development of the MSAP TC, has been signed by State Secretary for Defence Tomislav Ivić and by the Director of the Multinational Special Aviation Programme Lieutenant Colonel Tomislav Pušnik.
The signing ceremony was attended by the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Admiral Robert Hranj, acting Head of the Defence Policy Directorate Dunja Bujan, Director of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Major General Ivica Olujić, Chairman of the MSAP Multinational Executive Board (MEB) Colonel Dean Kranjčec, MSAP TC Director Lieutenant Colonel Tomislav Pušnik, MSAP TC Deputy Director Lieutenant Colonel Peter Simon, Croatian MEB member Colonel Branko Tubić, MSAP TC Standardisation / Flight Safety Officer Lieutenant Colonel Teodor Rashkov and the MSAP TC Training / Planning Officer Lieutenant Colonel Tomaž Oblak.
The Republic of Croatia and the MSAP partner nations have undertaken an important step towards further development of NATO capabilities
State Secretary Ivić said that by taking the role of the Host Nation Croatia undertook an important step towards further development of the Alliance through an international training programme as a comprehensive co-operation framework.
“We are proud that the Centre will provide special air operations integration training for the best pilots and special forces reps from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia, and I am extending congratulations to the member countries on their achievements up to now”, said State Secretary Ivić.
The Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Admiral Hranj said he firmly believe the MSAP TC has chance to become a NATO Centre of Excellence, if continue with professional work on a high level of NATO standards.
The Director of MSAP, Lieutenant Colonel Tomislav Pušnik said that MSAP establishment has a huge importance for all participating countries, in view of NATO SOF standards applied in training, and the enhanced interoperability of special air forces.
“The project is still in an initial phase, but we have high ambitions, and we believe that through hard work we can achieve our goal – to become a NATO Centre of Excellence for Special Air Operations,” said Lt. Col. Pušnik.
Deputy Director of MSAP TC Lieutenant Colonel Peter Simon commended the development and operation modality of the MSAP, and emphasised that it had been supported by NATO SOF Headquarters and the U.S. Special Operations Command since the very beginning.
“I am extending warm appreciation to the Republic of Croatia for hosting the programme and the commitment which is vital for its success, on behalf of the international members and trainees,” said Lt. Col. Simon.
Lt. Col. Rashkov and Lt. Col. Oblak agreed that the exchange of expertise and knowledge is the essential aspect of the training, and that investment into special air forces is a right direction for development of the armed forces.