Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Commemoration service held for the perished Air Force and Air Defence pilots

Today, a commemoration service was held in the House of Air Force and Air Defence in Zemun for the perished Air Force and Air Defence pilots Lieutenant Colonel Nenad Culibrk from the Air Force and Air Defence Command and Captain Dejan Pandurovic from the 252nd Training Squadron of the 204th Air Force Brigade, who lost their lives in the crash of the trainer-fighter “Super Galeb G-4” around the village of Slatina, near Sabac during a routine training flight.

The commemoration service was attended by the families of the perished pilots, the Minister of Defence Zoran Djordjevic, Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff General Ljubisa Dikovic with the members of the Chief of General Staff Board, Minister for Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs Aleksandar Vulin, representatives of the Air Force and Air Defence, colleagues, friends who wanted to express their deepest respect for the perished ones.

Addressing the gathering, the Air Force and Air Defence Commander Major General Ranko Zivak emphasized that the sudden and tragic death took pilots Lieutenant Colonel Culibrk and Captain Pandurovic from their lines. “At this moment it is not easy to find the right words of comfort, which could soothe the grief and pain of their loved ones. Nenad and Dejan were formed as people, pilots and officers in very difficult times and they had the privilege to be chosen to get into the restricted circle of people who have been given the chance to fulfil the dream and wish of many people – to fly. They underwent a long and difficult way of training and professional development and passed many exams, not only student and professional, but the life ones, as well. Owing to their human qualities, virtues and capabilities, honest and diligent work with the selfless support of their closest ones, they became top experts, officers and pilots who everyone wished to have beside them”, General Zivak stressed.

Addressing the families Culibrk and Pandurovic, the Air Force and Air Defence Commander said they should be proud of their Nenad and Dejan and that the fact they were good and generous people should serve as comfort, which will offer strength to overcome these difficult moments. “Being the officers of the Serbian Armed Forces, Nenad and Dejan were characterized by loyalty to their country, nation, the Serbian Armed Forces and their units, commitment to their profession, bravery, discipline in task performance, solidarity and dedication to help everyone in the collective, respect for the personality, honour and reputation of their associates”, General Zivak emphasized, adding that they shared their experience and knowledge with numerous younger generations of pilots as the flight instructors in the squadron.

Colonel Dragan Lazarevic from the Air Force and Air Defence Command and Lieutenant Colonel Zoran Erkic, the Commander of the 252nd Training Squadron of the 204th Air Force Brigade parted from the colleagues by selected words, stressing that this tragedy is the irrecoverable loss for our Air Force and the Serbian Armed Forces and that Nenad and Dejan flew too early to the line of eternal “sky squadron” of pilots, crowned with glory and professional honour. The funeral of Lieutenant Colonel Nenad Culibrk is going to be held tomorrow in Sabac at 13.00 and on the same day Captain Dejan Pandurovic is going to be escorted to rest from the New Cemetery in Belgrade at 13.30.
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