Croatia / Israel The crews had a crucial role in fighting wildfires in Israel.
Flight crews of the Fire Squadron of the 93rd Air Base of the Croatian Air Force, which took part with two Canadair CL-415 aircraft in extinguishing wildfires in Israel, have returned on Tuesday to their base in Zemunik, reports Večernji List on December 7, 2016.
They were greeted and welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, Special Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister General Ante Gotovina, commander of Croatian Air Force Brigadier General Miroslav Kovač, and Commander of the 93rd Air Base Colonel Karol Lučan.
In his speech, Minister Krstičević congratulated the crews for everything they had done by providing assistance to the people of Israel, which is the reason why they received praise and recognition from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
You have demonstrated your abilities, determination and willingness to provide help when it was most difficult. You were among the first to arrive in Israel and you played a crucial role in extinguishing the wildfires. You are not heroes just in Croatia, but in Israel as well, said Krstičević, adding that he was proud of their efforts. You showed how Croatian soldiers approach their tasks focused, responsible, and never neglecting humanity. This is what makes us distinctive. This is what makes our Armed Forces a brand, concluded Minister Krstičević.
The crews were also welcomed by General Ante Gotovina, Special Advisor to the Minister. We are glad that our crews have returned and I am glad that I was able to greet them. They gave a helping hand in need and once again demonstrated skills and competences to fight fires outside of Croatian territory.
Fire Squadron commander and leader of Croatian forces in Israel Colonel Davor Turković said that Croatian team returned from Israel with numerous impressions. We reacted in record time and assisted Israel in the most critical moment. Israeli Prime Minister came to visit us, he inspected our plane and talked with us, because the Croatian experience in fire fighting from air is recognized abroad and can be beneficial to Israel, said Colonel Turković.
During four days of direct fire fighting action in Israel, Croatian air crews spent a total of 35 hours in the air and used about 280 tons of water to extinguish wildfires.