Croatia’s new Warriors

Helicopter Squadron at Zadar-Zemunik

After three years of intensive training, Croatia’s Kiowa Warriors and their crews are on the brink of attaining full operational capability. Martin Scharenborg and Ramon Wenink followed their final steps towards readiness and flew with the OH-58D at Zadar-Zemunik air base.

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Croatia received 16 OH-58Ds and three simulators in 2016. The rotorcraft are assigned to the Eskadrila helikoptera based at Zadar-Zemunik in central Croatia. Here, OH-58D serial 332 undergoes a post-maintenance check flight east of the airfield. All photos Martin Scharenborg and Ramon Wenink

After declaring independence in June 1991 and the subsequent withdrawal of almost all remaining military assets to Yugoslavia, Croatia’s air arm had to be rebuilt from scratch. Due to a UN arms embargo imposed in 1992, it was impossible to procure the offensive weapons needed to fight insurgents in the northern and eastern parts of the country, where a Serb majority unwilling to become part of Croatia had proclaimed the independent republic of Krajina.

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