SPLIT, Croatia – A senior Croatian defense official was joined by an American congressional delegation for a visit to the high-speed vessel Swift (HSV 2) at Lora Naval Base in Split, Croatia, April 4.
Dr. Dragan Lozancic, the assistant minister of defense for the republic of Croatia, toured Swift with U.S. Senator Mark Begich, U.S. Ambassador to Croatia James Foley and the Croatian Chief of Naval Operations, Rear Adm. Ante Urlic.
During remarks to the Croatian media, Ambassador Foley stressed the importance of the American-Croatian partnership.
"Croatia is about to join the European Union," said Foley, "And while this will present new opportunities, it will also present new challenges of a security nature, and it's through this partnership that we meet those challenges together."
Senator Begich also spoke about the importance of partnership.
"It was a great honor to visit the crew of the Swift and their Croatian partners today," said Begich. "Both play a vital role in the important partnership shared by our nations. I'll be reporting back to my fellow senators in Washington that our alliance with Croatia is paying dividends for both countries."
While on board the group met with the combined crew of Sailors and civilian mariners, and observed a non-lethal weapon demonstration by members of the U.S. Marine Corps Black Sea Rotational Force.
The crew was proud to showcase their mission to the distinguished visitors.
"The visit was an important part of our theater security cooperation mission, here in 6th Fleet," said Lt. Cmdr. Charles Eaton, the officer in charge of HSV 2. "We are very proud to continue strengthening the important partnership between Croatia and the U.S. Navy."
Senator Begich was in Croatia to attend an economic forum and conduct official discussions with key leaders regarding issues affecting bilateral and regional relationships
Swift, homeported out of Norfolk, Va., is a U.S. Military Sealift Command-chartered high-speed vessel, and is currently deployed to the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of theater security cooperation efforts.