Marking 20 Years Since Shooting Down “Invisible” F-117A

Wednesday, 27.3.2019 | Stories from Units

Minister of Defense, Aleksandar Vulin, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Major General Petar Cvetković and Commander of the Air Force and Air Defence, Major General Duško Žarković, attended the celebration of the 20th anniversary since the members of the 250 Rocket Brigade of the Serbian Armed Forces shot down the American so-called “invisible” F-117A and entered history.

According to the Minister of Defense, 250 Rocket Brigade, which is the pride of our air defense, 20 years ago gave back hope to each of us.

- They restored hope to the free world. They have shown that a small, free people can fight and that resistance is not in vain. The Serbian Armed Forces is proud of all the members of 250 Rocket Brigade. We are infinitely grateful to 3 Rocket Division of the Air Defense, the people who shot down the “invisible”, aircraft deemed impossible to shoot down, aircraft considered invincible – said Minister Vulin.

The Minister of Defense recalled that members of the famous Rocket Brigade have shown that freedom is worth fighting for.

- They taught us a valuable lesson, that the most important thing for the military is to have training, to prepare continuously, to be equipped as best they can, but, above all, to have moral and know why it is they are fighting. These people knew why they were fighting. They fought for their free Serbia, for her right to decide for herself. That is why they were invincible – said Minister Vulin, thanking them on behalf of the Ministry of Defense and all the citizens of Serbia.

Commander of 250 Rocket Brigade of the Air Defense, Colonel Tiosav Janković said that the brigade today marks a memorable jubilee – 20 years since achieving the greatest success in the history of this unit.

- We, current members of the brigade, uphold the glory of this success, we respect our comrades, our predecessors and teachers, we preserve our tradition and everything that we achieved at that time we implant into the training, maintenance and modernization of our equipment, in educating younger officers and non-commissioned officers, future generations of “rocket-officers”, all with the aim of being worthy of the name and traditions of our unit – said Colonel Janković.

According to the retired colonel Zoltan Dany, on today's day 20 years ago, the combat service of 3 Rocket Division of the Air Defense, which he commanded, shot down the “pride of the NATO aviation” – F-117A.

- We are all proud of the success of our crew, which was well trained, prepared, and the procedure was followed to the letter. We were sure of ourselves, highly motivated and we were not afraid that anything would happen to us in that situation. Our morale was at the highest. We were absolutely sure that we were doing the right thing. That is why the task was successfully executed on the night of 27 March – retired Colonel Dani stressed.

Members of the combat crew that shot down the F-117A received plaques on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the defense of the country from the NATO aggression, and the Minister of Defense rewarded all the members of the crew with a seven-day stay for two in the Tara Military Resorts. The plaques were also awarded to the members of the best units of 250 Rocket Brigade of the Air Defense.

The ceremonies at the Banjica barracks were attended by commanders and members of the Air Force and Air Defence institutions and units, former commanders of 250 Rocket Brigade, as well as members of the combat crew and former members of 250 Rocket Brigade of Air Defense and 3 Rocket Division of Air Defense who shot down the “invisible”.

In memory of the fallen members of 250 Rocket Brigade, wreaths were laid at the Memorial to the fallen member of this brigade at the Banjica barracks. Minister Vulin also visited the Memorial Room of the 250 Rocket Brigade, where 250 Rocket Brigade Commander handed him a model of the SA-2 Guideline (S-75 Dvina) rocket, the first rocket system that was introduced in the arms system of the former SFRY.

All 78 days of the NATO aggression, the artillery-rocket units of the Air Defence were operating against enemy aircraft. Units have put up hearty and selflessly dedicated fight against incomparably superior enemy, decisively defending the airspace of our country.

Through complex action of officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers and with will and determination, what was deemed impossible became reality. A photo of the F-117A that has fallen in the field near the town of Buđanovci went round the world at lightning speed and fortified the morale of our armed forces and the people. For the courage and dedication of the members, for the sacrifice and achievements, 250 Rocket Brigade was decorated with the Order of the National Hero.

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