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Commentary: Marvelous Croatia - A military perspective

By: Valache V. Viorel, OR-8, ROU Navy

Croatia’s coast is speckled with dozens of magnificent islands that range from tiny, unpopulated to massive, arid and sporting ancient towns and villages. One of the main delights on any visit to Croatia is hopping between the islands on the numerous ferries, catamarans and taxi boats, or, if you’re fortunate enough your own sailing boat. 
I managed to have this wonderful experience but from a slightly different perspective that was unique to myself and my fellow NCO that attended the Croatian Armed Forces 8th NCO SUMMER CAMP for NATO and PfP countries. The camp which took place at Military Base "Kovcanje”, Mali Losinj location, situated on the magnificent Island of Losinj, Croatia, was held form 1-9 Sept., and the adventure started with a "hopping” travel from the capital of Zagreb to the above-mentioned one of a kind island.
Not only was I stunned from the very moment of my arrival there, starting with the first evening reunion, where the participants had the chance to introduce themselves in pursuit of knowing each other and to share their personal military experience, but also I was impressed by the overall organizational chart and the ability of the hosts to manage various topics related to accommodating international military personnel, coming from different environments.
The schedule was dense and the activities included were attractive and full of lessons learned. We had the great opportunity to alternate the theoretical presentations, with reference to the Croatian Armed Forces, Honorary Battalion, Special Forces, Air Force Base, Motorized Brigade, with the practical means of developing the team cohesion and enhancing mutual understanding.
The main goal depicted from these activities was the development of the camp attendees leadership capacity throughout lectures about modern leadership skills. Above all these aspects, the Croatian Armed Forces Subject Metter Experts, altogether with the guest speakers, have done the utmost to create the proper linkage within the members of our team and to foster military knowledge and communication skills.
Praising the organizers for their substantial efforts, I would like to highlight the fact that they managed to cover a wide range of events within a very tight schedule.In all, they combined the Weapons Handling Training with the amazing Delnice, Pula and Mali Losinj town tours, or the two days in a row Helicopter Flight to the Military Base " Zemunik” and the Helicopter Flight to the town of Knin, a famous cultural and historical heritage, with competitive rowing competition, basic sailor training and Brijuni Island land orientation . In order to get the facts, I strongly encourage the NCO Corps to experience this unique military opportunity to increase the level of knowledge and particular skills and personally, I am looking forward for the upcoming NCO WINTER CAMP.   

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