SOCEUR Commanding General David Tabor will give remarks and engage with Croatian leaders at a ceremony tomorrow marking the U.S. donation of two UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. These modern sophisticated helicopters, valued at 360 million Kuna, will contribute to Croatia’s own defense and the collective security of the NATO Alliance as a whole. The Government of Croatia is further partnering with the United States and procuring two additional Black Hawk helicopters, advancing Croatia’s military modernization and increasing its NATO interoperability.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Mark Fleming said, “The acquisition of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters makes our NATO Ally and partner Croatia stronger and more capable. We deeply appreciate our close partnership with the Government of Croatia on this acquisition, and the Government’s commitment and leadership to see it through. This is an important joint investment, not just in the capacities and future of the Croatian Armed Forces, but also in our shared security and the U.S.-Croatia defense partnership. We work together constantly to develop and strengthen the tools our countries need to help ensure regional security and support NATO more broadly.”
The Black Hawk provides capabilities across a range of possible missions, from special operations to tactical troop transport to aeromedical evacuation. The introduction of the Black Hawk UH-60M model enhances the capacity of the Croatian Armed Forces to address these various operational demands.
The Minnesota National Guard, through Croatia’s State Partnership Program with the U.S. State of Minnesota, is further supporting Croatian Black Hawk capabilities with military exchanges focused on best practices in operating Black Hawks in the field. Croatia’s first Black Hawk crew recently flew together with Minnesota National Guard counterparts to develop key operational skills. From tactical army vehicles to Kiowa Warrior and Black Hawk helicopters, the Minnesota National Guard remains fully committed to advancing Croatian capacity using U.S. weapons systems and partnering in other important fields of engagement including cyber initiatives. Through their more than 25-year State Partnership Program, Croatian and Minnesotan service members fly together, learn together, and prepare together at the highest operational level.
The Republic of Croatia’s incorporation of U.S. Black Hawk helicopters builds upon previous and ongoing military cooperation, including Croatia’s upcoming acquisition of Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Defense partnership between the United States and Croatia remains a cornerstone of the U.S.-Croatia relationship, with U.S. military assistance to Croatia reaching four and a half billion Kuna in the form of training, equipment, infrastructure construction, and specialized military education. Since Croatia joined the NATO Alliance, U.S. and Croatian soldiers have served shoulder-to-shoulder from Afghanistan to Poland to Kosovo.
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Excited to welcome the Black Hawks to Croatia today @ZagrebAirport. These aircraft will boost the capacity of @MORH_OSRH, and make Croatia an even more capable and strong @NATO Ally. Another joint investment in our U.S.-Croatia partnership and shared security. pic.twitter.com/PghBsu79B2
— Chargé d’Affaires Fleming (@USAmbCroatia) February 3, 2022