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New multi-purpose helicopters arrive in Montenegro, PM Marković: We invest money in safety of our citizens

New multi-purpose helicopters arrive in Montenegro, PM Marković: We invest money in safety of our citizens
Published date 10.09.2018 13:00 | Author PR Service

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Two new multi-purpose Bell 412 EPI helicopters, intended for the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Montenegro, arrived in Montenegro today, which represents the most important equipment of our armed forces since the restoration of independence and confirmation of Montenegro's determination to strengthen its capabilities within NATO.

"When we joined NATO, we said that in the alliance of the most powerful and most developed powers – we will be a responsible member and strengthen the capabilities of our Armed Forces in accordance with the needs of collective security. We are aware that with such an approach, we are unambiguously showing the responsibility for the comfort and security of our citizens, as well as investors, tourists and all those who for any reason visit Montenegro," Prime Minister Duško Marković said at the ceremony.

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The Prime Minister recalled that the procurement of three modern helicopters cost about EUR 30 million and that the aircrafts will be engaged in search and rescue missions, as well as for various types of medical evacuations, and will improve capacities for emergency response, as well as the level of safety of tourists who stay in Montenegro.

"Therefore, we have invested in ourselves and the security of our citizens," the Prime Minister said.

Montenegro already feels the benefits of NATO membership

Prime Minister Duško Marković took the opportunity to note the already visible advantages and benefits of Montenegro's membership in NATO.

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"The growth of foreign direct investment significantly contributed to the economic growth of 4.3% in 2017 and the growth in the first half of 2018. And their inflow from the NATO member countries in the first six months of this year increased 2.5 times compared to the same period last year. Since the moment of joining NATO, the number of tourists from member countries has risen, according to the National Tourism Organisation, by about 25% compared to the same period of the previous year. So, there is no better chance than this one to once again show to those who have questioned and hindered our Euro-Atlantic orientation how wrong they were. The demagogy of the huge membership costs, as well as the NATO bases, was dispersed. As well as those about potential conflicts within this system of values," the Prime Minister said, reminding that our achievements in foreign policy is the result of a vision focused on the stability and prosperity of citizens.

Security and safety cost every citizen less than one euro

The Prime Minister said that the reality is that the protection of the state sovereignty and integrity of the Montenegrin territory is guaranteed by the most powerful and the most developed countries of today, and that foreign investments and the number of tourists from the these countries are growing, and it does not cost our citizens even one euro.

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"For the cost of 70 cents per capita per year, we have shown the world that Montenegro is a safe investment and tourist destination. And safety and security, more investments and tourists - mean better jobs for our citizens, better placement of products and long-term better quality of life," Prime Minister Duško Marković said.

General Dakić: The biggest investment in the Armed Forces in an independent Montenegro

Chief of the General Staff, Brigadier General Dragutin Dakić said at the ceremony that the most important equipment of the Armed Forces of Montenegro since the restoration of independence has happened today.

"The procurement project of these helicopters is extremely important, and despite our long-standing vision, only now have been all conditions acquired to implement it. Aware of the need of our armed forces and the state, we have chosen the type and model of the helicopter that will best answer the security requirements in the entire territory of the country. These helicopters will enhance the mobility of units, reconnaissance capabilities and the overall transport capacity of the Armed Forces of Montenegro. In addition, it will allow us to further develop the capabilities for various types of evacuation, search and rescue missions, and reacting in extraordinary situations," General Dakić said.

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General Dakić noted that the first helicopter shipped on April 13 already this summer had the opportunity to show its capabilities and possibilities for extinguishing fire, adding that his crew, who had all necessary training in piloting the aircraft in Montenegro and abroad, showed an enviable level of competence.

"All this suggests that the training and tasks planning in the Armed Forces of Montenegro are being implemented at a high level," the Chief of the General Staff said.

Armored vehicles and patrol boats will also arrive soon

General Dakić said that our country, as a NATO member, carefully plans and designs capacity development, builds credibility in the Alliance, and that the Air Forces of the Montenegrin Armed Forces has significantly increased its capabilities and readiness for carrying out assigned tasks.

"In order to raise the capabilities and readiness of our land units, the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of Montenegro are working on the procurement of 67 light armored vehicles which will be used by our units. Also, I can say that the donation of light armored motor vehicles for military police units by the Federal Republic of Germany is in the final phase, and that we will soon have them in the Armed Forces of Montenegro. The Navy of the Armed Forces of Montenegro is carrying out the process of conversion of rocket gunsboats into patrol boats, which will strengthen our maritime capabilities and presence at sea. Therefore, the Armed Forces of Montenegro keep up with the development of modern technologies and challenges, all with one goal - to successfully respond to the missions and tasks, thus enabling our citizens to feel safe and protected," Chief of the General Staff, Brigadier General Dragutin Dakić concluded.

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The ceremony was attended by a large number of officials, including Minister of Defence Predrag Bošković, representatives of the diplomatic corps and other top officials.

The contract for the purchase of three helicopters, worth about EUR 30 millions, was signed on 30 January 2018.

Helicopters flew from Prague, where they were put together in the Bell Centre for Europe after being shipped from the United States. Commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Montenegro, Lieutenant Colonel Nenad Pavlović, and Major Darko Pavlović operated the new aircrafts on their way to Montenegro.

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VIDEO: Two new Bell 412 EPI helicopters arrive in Montenegro

VIDEO: Address by Prime Minister Duško Marković

Address by Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković in Montenegrin (word and pdf)

Address by Chief of the General Staff, Brigadier General Dragutin Dakić  in Montenegrin (word and pdf)







PHOTO: New multi-purpose helicopters arrive in Montenegro

PHOTO: PM Duško Marković at the arrival ceremony of two Bell 412 EPI helicopters for the Armed Forces of Montenegro