Bilateral cooperation with neighbors

{gallery}newsletters/10/1{/gallery}The first member of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be sent to the Pilot School of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defense in Zemunik near Zadar, began his training on September 7. As reported by the Croatian Ministry of Defense, the name of the officer is Dražen Matijević. Matijević, together with five other officers from the Croatian Armed Forces, has started training with selective flying.

Military pilot Matijević’s training in Zemunik has been made possible by a bilateral agreement between BiH and Croatia, and is being conducted in line with a program adapted for those candidates that already have the status of officers in the armed forces of Croatia or its partner countries.

This training can be applied for by active first and second lieutenants in the Croatian Armed Forces who have completed some sort of technical studies, who are under 25, and who are fluent in English.

Around ten hours of selective flying in Zlin 242L planes are conducted in Zemunik to check if a candidate possesses necessary psychomotor predispositions to be a pilot. This is followed by training in line with the standard training program. After successful completion of the training, military pilots are allocated to operational air force units.

Our Matijević is the second foreign pilot educated in Croatia. In July of this year, 2nd lieutenant Robert Mitrovski from the Macedonian Air Force completed military helicopter pilot training.

Croatian authorities hope that the number of foreign students in the school will grow, and that the school in Zemunik will become a regional center for training pilots.

Among the advantages of this school is its long tradition. The Air Force Academy of the former Yugoslav People’s Army was located here because this place provides the best climatic and airport conditions in the region. The Pilot School has been continuing this tradition for over 14 years, thanks to an experienced staff and a fleet of modern Pilatus PC-9M planes and Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III helicopters from two squadrons in Zemunik.

We will try to inform you on Dražen Matijević’s career and expectations in one of our next issues.

A. I.

Photo: MORH