Formal ceremony on the occasion of the 24th December, the Day of the Air Force and the Air Defence of the Serbian Armed Forces has been held tonight in the Air Force Command in Zemun. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Defence Nebojša Rodić and the Chief of General Staff General Ljubiša Diković with his associates, the Air Force and Air Defence Commander Major-General Ranko Živak, the representatives of the Serbian Armed Forces, Zemun Municipality, the actor, scriptwriter and director Radoš Bajić who, with his colleague Milenko Pavlov, took part in the programme, as well as many actual and former members of the Serbian Air Force.
– In the beginning of the 20th century Serbia was a poor and undeveloped country, exhausted by constant wars and fight for freedom. However, it was only in a material sense. When we speak about the ideas, wise thinking and predicting of future we had many gifted individuals. Serbia was among the first countries in the world that perceived the third war dimension, the importance of the air space and air force, and introduced the air force into its units. By the decision of the Minister of Military Affairs Vojvoda Radomir Putnik as of the 24th December 1912 the Air Force of Serbian Army was formed with headquarters in Niš, and in this way the base for our arms was created and thereupon it was developing according to historical events and scientific and technological achievements – pointed out the Air Force and Air Defence Commander Major-General Ranko Živak in his welcoming speech and reminded the audience that in the history of the Serbian Air Force there were periods of intense peacetime development, prosperity and cooperation in all aspects, but also there were periods of hard historical challenges and severe hardships when everything was driven to the brink of existence.
– Since Balkan Wars, the First and Second World War until today the generations of pilots, antiaircraft gunners, technicians and different profile specialists had built themselves into a rich history of our arms. Regardless everything that is going to be said tonight those people are the most important because they make the pillar of our arms – Živak pointed out, talking about the heroic deeds of the heroes of the Serbian Air Force in April War 1941, the patriotism and competence of the heroes who in 1999 defied more powerful opponent, when nobody said „I can`t do it“, „I don`t dare to do it“, or „I won`t do it“.
– Our people were at the world’s top regarding primarily the fields of knowledge and profession, even in the times when there were no wars. The development of the air craft technologies, project, production and trial capacities, production and overhaul of domestic aircrafts, personnel education, achievements in the field of air force medicine, participation in the world exhibitions and aero meetings were particularly important therein. Because of all this it is our constant task and obligation, both human and professional, to foster the memory of all killed fellow-soldiers and heroic deeds and achievements of the generations of airmen, because, in hard times, it will be the best guidance to overcome all troubles and perform duties at a high level – Živak said, pointing out that today the Serbian Air Force also has the people to be proud of whose advancement requires only minimal working conditions.
– Those people had a hard-working, but successful year of 2013. In given conditions a continued control and protection of the sovereignty of the air space of the Republic of Serbia is provided what was the first and main task. As for the education we have realized three most large tasks – the international air force exercise “Air-solution“ with the Air Force of Romania, joint tactical exercises of all air force arms and combat firing practice by rocket systems in Bulgaria. We had numerous activities in the international military cooperation, and as regards the support of the Serbian Armed Forces in peacekeeping operations I would like to point out the transport of the equipment to Djibouti by aircraft АН-26, what was in the last two decades the most complex task of equipment transfer and it was successfully performed by our members – General Živak described past working year in domestic air force, emphasizing in particular the equipping of the arms by the key combat systems.
During the programme the Gratitude Plaques were presented for the long term cooperation to the member of the Zemun Municipal Council Milosav Stamenov and the Director of AD “Orao“ Milan Prica. In the cultural-artistic programme a celebrated scriptwriter Radoš Bajić recited the poem of Tanasije Mladenović “The night before we departed“, and the actor Milenko Pavlov performed the drama piece “Me, the soldier“. The evening in the Air Force Command was made more beautiful by the music performed by the Choir of Zemun Chamber Orchestra conducted by Đorđe Stanković, and a woman soloist Natalija Nikolić.
Source / Author: Serbian Armed Forces