The United States delivered two UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters at Zagreb Airport, Feb. 4. The arrival of the U.S. Black Hawk weapon system was part of the 2018 Croatia Vertical Lift program.
Communication, Navigation and Radar Systems were included in a total package approach to improve Croatia’s ability to move personnel and supplies, as well as increase the country’s defense capabilities and military preparedness in support of NATO.
“With the procurement of Black Hawk helicopters, the Republic of Croatia, as a reliable and credible NATO member, shows its commitment to replacing existing helicopters of eastern production and transferring to western technology,” Croatian Minister of Defense Mario Banozic said.
The Security Assistance Enterprise synchronizes and integrates capabilities to meet Army goals in the competitive environment with an advanced focus on speed and agility.
“Allies and partners are a top priority for both the Department of Defense and Army. This delivery of helicopters will improve Croatia’s capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense,” Security Assistance Command Director of Washington Field Office David Dornblaser said. “Additionally, using the same aircraft and maintenance procedures increases interoperability on future, combined missions.”
The Black Hawk provides capabilities across a range of possible missions, from special operations to tactical troop transport to aeromedical evacuation.
“Croatia has earned a reputation as a committed and capable NATO ally, and the introduction of Black Hawks will further boost the capacities of the Croatian armed forces,” U.S. Charge d’Affaires Mark Flemming said. “We are working together every day to build the tools that our countries need to help ensure regional security and to support the strength of NATO more broadly.”
The Republic of Croatia’s incorporation of U.S. Black Hawk helicopters builds upon previous and ongoing military cooperation between the two countries.
“It is my pleasure to attend the arrival of the first two UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, which are the donation of our strategic partner, the United States of America. I thank the United States government for this donation. It represents evidence of strong, friendly and allied relations, which are progressing every year,” Banozic said.
Defense partnership between the United States and Croatia remains a cornerstone of the U.S.-Croatia relationship, with U.S. military assistance to Croatia including training, equipment, infrastructure construction, and specialized military education. Additionally, an offer of 84 Bradley M2A2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles was made in December 2021.
“Delivery of the Black Hawk helicopters culminates another successful partnership resulting from USASAC’s ongoing mission to increase military capabilities of countries that share similar regional security goals with the U.S.,” Dornblaser said.
Since Croatia joined the NATO Alliance, the U.S. and Croatian Soldiers have served shoulder-to-shoulder from Afghanistan to Poland to Kosovo.