Enhanced Forward Presence – eFP
At the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016, the Heads of State and Government of all Allies unanimously adopted a decision to deploy four multinational Battalion Battle Groups (BBGs) within NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
In the spirit of Allied solidarity, at the NATO Summit in July 2016, the Republic of Slovenia expressed its readiness to participate in a multinational eFP BBG. It announced its contribution of a contingent of up to 50 Slovenian Armed Forces members (depending on the decision taken by the government) in October 2016 at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels.
The Republic of Slovenia operates in Latvia under the leadership of Canada as the lead nation of the BBG, which also includes Albania, Italy, Poland and Spain. In June 2017, the Slovenian Armed Forces deployed the first 47-member contingent to the eFP mission. Its main body is composed of the multipurpose CBRN platoon with attached elements. The plan is to deploy up to four six-month rotations. The bulk of the first two contingents are formed by a CBRN platoon, a team of Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, members in the Battle Group HQ, members of the Military Police and a National Support Element. In the following two rotations, the CBRN platoon will be replaced by an infantry reconnaissance platoon.
The deployed SAF members take part in peacekeeping activities of eFP forces (exercises, training, movements to protect own forces and other peacetime activities to ensure and maintain a comprehensive and enhanced deterrent and defensive posture of NATO).
By participating in the Enhanced Forward Presence, Slovenia expresses its support to the strengthening of NATO’s comprehensive and credible deterrence and defence posture. In this way, the Alliance responds to a significantly changed security environment, dynamics and threats on its eastern flank. With its presence in the Baltics, the Alliance provides additional assurance measures to the most vulnerable Eastern Allies, who feel particularly at risk and have therefore requested assistance from NATO. The participation in the mission also contributes to the upgrading of interoperability with Allied forces, better competencies and training, as well as to the strengthening of the readiness and combat capability of units and members of the Slovenian Armed Forces. The operation sends a clear deterrent message that any aggression against any allied nation will be deterred using an adequate joint military response.
The formation and operation of multinational eFP units on the Alliance's eastern flank are based on common decisions of the North Atlantic Council. The decision to deploy multinational battalion battle groups in Poland and the three Baltic states was reached at the highest political level at NATO Summit in July 2016 in Warsaw. The positioning of these units on the eastern flank reflects the Alliance’s unity, cohesion, decisiveness, determination and solidarity and sends out a message that every allied nation is backed by the entire Alliance and that any aggression against any allied nation will be deterred using an adequate joint military response. The use of eFP battalion battle groups is under strict political control of NATO, which is a consensus-based alliance.