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President of Croatia visits Camp Bondsteel

Jan 11, 2010

By Sgt. 1st Class David Dodds

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo -- During his recent visit to Kosovo, Croatian President Stjepan Mesic stopped here to see his nation's Air Force personnel who are serving in NATO's peacekeeping operations throughout Kosovo.

It was a whirlwind tour for Mesic, as he was greeted by Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann, commanding general of MNTF-E, and Maj. Andreas Duvnjak, commander of the Croatian contingent, before an inspection of the Croatian troops.

From there, it was off to a meet-and-greet style gathering and a presentation on the Croatian mission in Kosovo, inside the Croatian contingent's headquarters. The visit capped off with a tour of Camp Bondsteel and the facilities that are available to the Croatian contingent.

President Mesic was joined by members of his Ministry of Foreign Affairs and three Croatian journalists.

The president's stop at Camp Bondsteel comes on the heels of another recent visit by a Croatian dignitary. Dec. 21, Maj. Gen. Vlado Bagaric, the Air Force and Air Defense Commander for Croatia, visited his nation's troops, something that is considered traditional for Croatian military leaders around the holidays.

The Croatian Air Force's mission in Kosovo, which started in July, is the first deployment of Croatian Air Force troops outside of their country, officials said.

“It was my distinct honor to play host to President Mesic and to discuss the important role that the Croatian contingent play in our daily operations here in Kosovo,” Dohrmann said. “The Croatian Air Force significantly bolsters KFOR's operational capabilities in the air and its overall mission readiness. This corps of professionals from Croatia has seamlessly worked alongside the other aviation and aviation support battalions in Kosovo since their arrival.”

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