By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs
Service members and high-ranking officials from the United States and Croatia celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony of a new Croatian medical facility at Eugen Kvaternik Military Training Area in Slunj, Croatia, Nov. 25.
Official remarks were provided by the Honorable Robert Kohorst, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia; Mr. Zdravko Jakop, State Secretary for the Republic of Croatia; and Croatian Lt. Gen. Siniša Jurković, Deputy Chief of Croatian Armed Forces.
“Today’s ceremony…is the result of many years of successful cooperation with our partners and friends in the United States,” said Jurković. “This project, with its additional ability to provide medical support, will increase the efficiency of organizing and implementing measures and procedures of providing medical care in Croatian Army units in stationary and field conditions, and we also add value to all who stay at the military training ground in Slunj.”
The speakers recognized the historic precedence set between the partnering nations and the importance of the facility to future joint and multinational operations.
“This ground-breaking ceremony marks the start of a $1.7 million construction project that will include a Role 1 medical facility right here where we stand and a military barracks for up to 200 personnel that will be constructed a few meters from here,” said Kohorst.
The State Secretary remarked on the importance of the relationship between the two countries.
“The U.S. is a vital strategic partner of the Republic of Croatia in defense and security,” said Jakop.
Also in attendance were members of the Croatian Armed Forces and Sailors from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133, who began construction on the site immediately following the ceremony.
“It’s been a real honor to work with the Croatian military,” he said. “I’ve come out to this military training facility a number of times, and I’ve been very privileged to work with many of you in the partnership between our two countries.”
NMCB 133, currently assigned to Commander, Task Force 68 based out of Rota, Spain, is a subordinate command of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force (NECF), executing construction and engineering projects in support of airfield damage repair, building and maintaining critical infrastructure; and providing power, water, and other essential commodities in the U.S. Sixth Fleet Area of Operation. The NECF is strengthened by the support of the American public and values opportunities to increase public awareness and understanding of the Navy through participation in community outreach events nationwide.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national security interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.