The Croatian contingent of 150 soldiers, including nine women, was escorted by Minister of Defense Ivan Anušić to the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo amidst a heavy downpour. This is the 40th contingent sent by Croatia to participate in the KFOR operation, which has been ongoing for 15 years. So far, a total of 1,872 members have passed through the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia, including 100 women.
The new contingent includes an equal number of older and experienced soldiers as well as young members. Brigadier Rajko Perić and Admiral Robert Hranj addressed the soldiers at their departure ceremony, emphasizing the importance of their mission in contributing to peace and stability in Kosovo. Minister Anušić spoke to the soldiers as well, highlighting the need for strengthening the army and defense, especially in light of conflicts in Ukraine and Israel. He also mentioned plans for strategic projects aimed at procuring equipment such as Black Hawk helicopters, Patria armored vehicles, and coastal ships.
Anušić also addressed concerns about declining interest among young people in serving in the military. He outlined strategic projects aimed at attracting new recruits and increasing military readiness. Lastly, when asked about his plans for running for president of Croatia, Anušić simply stated that he had no intention of doing so.