Slatina Air Base
Slatina Air Base located at Pristina International Airport
Priština International Airport
Pristina International Airport Adem Jashari is an international airport located southwest of Pristina, Kosovo. It is an international airport that handles over a million passengers per year, co-located with Slatina Air Base. It is under the authority of the Government of Kosovo and is the only...

, contained the second largest military underground hangar
Underground hangar
An Underground hangar is a type of hangar for military aircraft, usually dug into the side of a mountain for protection. It is bigger and more protected than a Hardened Aircraft Shelter ....

 complex in former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

. The largest one was at Željava Airport near Bihać
Bihać is a city and municipality on the river Una in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Bosanska Krajina region. Bihać is located in the Una-Sana Canton in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.-History:...

. After 1999 NATO bombing in Yugoslavia, this object was used by NATO KFOR.

Before the Yugoslav military withdrawal, Slatina was home of the 83rd Fighter Aviation Regiment
83rd Fighter Aviation Regiment
The 83rd Fighter Aviation Regiment was an aviation regiment established in 1944 as 1st Yugoslav Fighter Regiment The 83rd Fighter Aviation Regiment (Serbo-Croatian: 83. lovački avijacijski puk / 83. ловачки авијацијски пук) was an aviation regiment established in 1944 as 1st Yugoslav Fighter...

 and its 123rd and the 124th squadron. These squadrons were equipped with MiG-21 Bis and MiG-21 UM aircraft.

Historical value of the Slatina air base

During the NATO's operation against Yugoslavia
1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999...

83rd fighter squadron of Yugoslavian Air Forces was based in Slatina. It did not perform any sorties and suffered no losses from NATO aircraft during the 1999 bombings. Every single aircraft was intact..

The Slatina air base was a strategically important object which NATO had planned to use for airlifting of much of their military units in support of the UNSF Resolution 1244. Control over the airport was to be established on the 12th of June, 1999. However, on that night the air base was seized by a battalion of Russian paratroopers, who have made a forced march of 600 km in just 7.5 hours from the Russian SFOR base in Bosnia to Kosovo.

See also

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