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Ceremony marking the deployment of the 2nd SAF contingent to Latvia

On Friday, 8 December, Franc Rozman Stane Barracks in Celje was the venue of a ceremony marking the deployment of the 2nd Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) contingent to the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) mission.

The 2nd contingent, which will be attached to a Canadian battalion, includes 50 SAF members and Captain Gorazd Stergar as the Commander. The bulk of the contingent is composed of a multipurpose Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defence Battalion with attached support elements. The contingent will take part in peacetime activities, such as exercises, training events and other. By participating in the Enhanced Forward Presence mission, 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 keynote speech was given by Deputy Commander of the 1st Brigade, Colonel Borut Cesar who underlined that the contingent was very well prepared and as such enjoys his trust to complete its tasks successfully. He also thanked all family members who had been supporting each contingent member firmly and decisively.
The ceremony, which was attended by family members and friends of contingent members, also included a cultural programme with the wind orchestra of the Slovenian Armed Forces and a member of the Zarja theatre group, Mr Srečko Centrih, who recited a poem Mostovi (Bridges) by Karel Destovnik Kajuh.

Photo: Corporal Luka Mitrović, 72nd Brigade