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Main Slovenian Armed Forces exercise Adriatic Strike 2018 begins

On Sunday, 3 June, the ceremony held at the Cerklje ob Krki airfield marked the opening of the seven-day exercise Adriatic Strike 2018. In the exercise, the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) will collaborate with other PfP and NATO member states to provide Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training with the support of air force capabilities. The ceremony was attended by Chief of Staff of the SAF Force Command Brigadier General Klemen Medja and representatives of local communities.

At the opening ceremony, organised together with the Open Day of the Jernej Molan Barracks, exercise participants and visitors were addressed by Brigadier General Medja and Exercise Director Colonel Bojan Brecelj, Commander of the SAF 15th Wing. The programme moderated by Nataša Klobčaver was enriched by the Slovenian Armed Forces Band sextet and the music band M.J.A.V.

Some 700 participants will be present. In addition to SAF members, 350 participants come from Albania, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and the USA. JTAC training will be supported by the following air force capabilities:

Rotary-wing aircraft:
– Bell 206, Slovenia
– Bell 412, Slovenia
– Cougar AS AL 532, Slovenia and Albania
– SA 341 Gazela, Montenegro
– Mi 8/17, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*.

Fixed-wing aircraft:
– Pilatus PC-9, Slovenia and Croatia
– Pilatus PC-7, Austria
– Aero L-159, Czech Republic
– Aero L-39, the Netherlands
– AMX, Italy
– Lear Jet, Germany
– SAAB JAS 39 Gripen, Hungary
– F-16, USA

The aircraft supporting JTAC training will be based at the Cerklje ob Krki and Brnik air bases, while allied Pilatus PC-9 - Croatia, AMX – Italy and SAAB JAS 39 Gripen - Hungary aircrafts will support the exercise from their parent bases.

JTAC training will take place at six different locations around Slovenia, namely the central SAF training area Postojna, where the aircraft and tanks will provide fire support, and the wider surroundings of the municipalities of Celje, Trbovlje and Črnomelj as well as in the area of mount Korošica and Primoži near Kočevska Reka, where the aircraft will only simulate air support.

In order to ensure safety as well as safe and continuous air traffic, occasional daily airspace closures will apply over the areas of operations (9.00 – 12.00, 14.00 – 23.00). A large part of activities will be conducted during daylight hours, while all activities will be concluded by 23.00. Due to aircraft overflights, increased noise levels can be expected around training areas.

*Turkey has recognized the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name.