“Balkan Friendship Jump 2023” officially opened
Traditional event “Balkan Friendship Jump 2023” was opened today at the sports airfield “Lisičji Jarak” in Belgrade.
The opening of the event was attended by Head of Intelligence and Reconnaissance Directorate (J-2) Brigadier General Dragan Arsenijević, Deputy Air Force and Air Defence Commander Brigadier General Brane Krnjajić, President of Aeronautical Union of Serbia Labud Bulatović, and Secretary of the Association of veterans of 63rd Parachute Brigade from Montenegro Archpriest Mijajlo Backović.
Deputy Air Force and Air Defence Commander Brigadier General Krnjajić greeted the present and hoped for clear skies for the participants.
According to Colonel Nenad Kuzmanović (retd) from the Association of the Parachute Club of the Veterans of 63rd Parachute Brigade “Arhistratig”, this year’s event will gather around 150 participants.
- The competition part of the programme starts today and it will last until Sunday, 21st May. This year, participants from Finland and Great Britain took part for the first time, and I hope that the number will be even greater next year. The competition is fierce, and there are 10 parachute teams in the competitive part of the event. We will see what the results will be, luck favours the brave, and may the best win - said Colonel Kuzmanović.
While opening the event, President of Aeronautical Union of Serbia Labud Bulatović underlined the importance of parachuting, without which there are no aeronautical sports and aviation.
- It is my strong belief, and I also believe that we will make this event last, and that we will make it better, more successful and numerous. What you do here is extremely important for the aeronautical sports of Serbia and for the sports in general - Bulatović said.
According to Secretary of the Association of veterans of 63rd Parachute Brigade from Montenegro Archpriest Mijajlo Backović, the participants of the traditional parachuting event are unified by a rifle, parachute turret and the red beret.
- Those are the only three things that are important for all of us on this airfield, and that is why I would like us to gather here for many years, and honour and celebrate the honourable and great name of the brigade and these red berets, which are the symbol of the blood of our brothers who gave their lives so that we can stand free here today - said Archpriest Backović.
The competition segment of the event was opened by the parachute team of the Serbian Armed Forces “Sky Otters” which was predetermined by the draw.
Paratroopers from 14 countries are taking part in this year’s event: Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Great Britain, Finland, Germany, Israel and Australia.
The “Balkan Friendship Jump 2023” is organised by Veteran Parachute Club of the 63rd Parachuting Brigade “Arhistratig” and the Aeronautical Union of Serbia with the support of the Ministry of Defence, the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Special Anti-Terrorist Unit of the MI, and parachute clubs “Feniks” and “Delta”.