Congratulating the gathered members of Air Force and Air Defence at the airport “Batajnica” on holiday, 204th Air Force Brigade Deputy Commander Colonel Zeljko Bilic reminded of the beginning of introduction of aircraft into the weapons of Royal Serbian Army and talked about the rich tradition of aviation in this region.
“The year behind us was successful and safe, the year of struggle for better serviceability of technics and improvement of level of capabilities. Air Force and Air Defence has continuously controlled and secured the protection of sovereignty of the airspace of the Republic of Serbia. It is significant success nowadays when we have intensified civil air traffic, air transport of dangerous materials and expansion of use of various unmanned aerial vehicles and we will continue with execution of this task in 2017”, Colonel Bilic emphasized.
He assessed that 2017 is the year of expectations for Air Force and Air Defence because after three decades of promises and stagnation the continuation of positive trends in 2016 is expected and the advancement in all fields.
“We expect a lot, but we are ready to give even more through a professional relation of our members and conscientious performance of set tasks. We expect to mark this holiday together next year, in the full line and in better conditions for life and work of all our members”, Colonel Bilic stressed.
According to him, during performance of flight tasks there were no serious threats to flight safety, and the struggle for higher level of flight safety, as he pointed out, will remain a top priority as usual.
“The year behind us is characterized by the beginning of process of new purchase, mainly transport helicopters Mi-17 and other combat systems, after many decades of promises and expectations, as well as overhaul and renewal of resources for a significant number of pieces of materiel in Moma Stanojlovic Aviation Institute and overhauling institutes abroad. We expect the started increasing trend in equipping and training to continue in 2017. The process of equipping with fighter planes and other combat systems will be continued and we hope crowned with the purchase of 6 MiG-29 planes. We expect the delivery of 14 “Lasta” planes during next year, which will improve the quality and security of flight training, especially of young pilots”, Colonel Bilic stressed announcing that next year the process of maintenance of maximum level of serviceability of technics will continue, as well as the started modernization of perspective missile and radar systems.
“We carried out all planned contents of training, both at national level and exercises and other contents of training of international character. We conducted the exercise “BARS 2016” with the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation and we gave full support to the exercise “Slavic Brotherhood” with our transport capacities and engagement of personnel for flight support at airports”, Colonel Bilic stressed adding that the tradition of conducting international exercises with neighbours will be continued, like “Air Solution” with Romanian aviation and shooting at the Shabla testing ground in Bulgaria.
Talking about the significance of international military cooperation, Colonel Bilic assessed that all international exercises are the chance to exchange experience, acquire new knowledge, a real assessment and comparison where our forces and capacities are in relation to the world and in the end-to develop and strengthen trust and friendship among our armed forces, nations and states.