Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia have opened the Multinational Special Aviation Programme, a training centre dedicated to training air crews responsible for transporting Special Operations Forces.
Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Damir Krstičević hosted the opening ceremony in Zadar, Croatia on Wednesday. Chief of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces General Mirko Šundov, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment Camille Grand, and the Commander of the NATO Special Operations Headquarters, Lieutenant General Eric P. Wendt were in attendance. Defence Ministers and representatives of Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia attended.
“The Multinational Special Aviation Programme epitomizes what NATO stands for – Allies achieving more together than they ever could individually,” said Assistant Secretary General Grand.
"By committing to training the next generation of Special Operations Forces aviation crews in one place, you – the participants – are laying the foundations for ever more seamless joint operations.”
The training centre will start work in 2020 with academic training, before flight training begins in 2021. Zadar offers training opportunities for helicopter crews in various geographic settings, including in the mountains, at sea and on islands.
The NATO Special Operations Headquarters supports the Multinational Special Aviation Programme. It benefits from informal ties with the Special Operations aviation communities of selected Allies. This cooperation of Special Operations Forces is unique in NATO. By applying NATO standards, it will increase interoperability among the participants, throughout the Alliance and with NATO partners.
As such, additional Allies and partner nations may decide to join MSAP in the future.