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The SAF’s goals in regional exercises attained in cooperation with allies, partners and citizens

On Saturday, 22 June, this year's regional exercises in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia concluded. Multinational military exercises took place under the slogan Stronger Together. In addition to Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) members, the exercises Immediate Response, Adriatic Strike, Astral Knight, and Swift Response included participants from 25 allied and partner countries. In May and June, an average of 751 members of allied forces from 9 countries trained daily in Slovenia.
During the exercises, they strengthened their skills and readiness, and collaborated on personal, professional, technical and tactical levels, thus building more effective and responsive forces for ensuring security and maintaining peace. The overall scenario of all exercises envisaged the deterioration of the security situation and the Alliance's action to activate Articles 4 and 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Training within major multinational military exercises provides an optimal opportunity for exercise participants to acquaint themselves with the conditions in which allies would operate in the event of security threats; however, they also serve as an opportunity for simultaneous joint operation of military branches and services, and as such an ideal basis for training and a comprehensive insight into the competence of units and commands. Exercises included all SAF force commands and units as well as SAF target capabilities: battalion battle group modules, Special Operations Detachment, convoy support centre, movement control team, Role 2 LM field hospital, transport helicopters and a medical evacuation helicopter, transport company, military police, divers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon.

According to the first results, all common goals of the participating armed forces in the exercises were achieved, the most important ones including increased interoperability of the participating NATO armed forces, training in standard procedures, tactics and techniques, and proven ability to provide host-nation support and Reception, Staging and Onward Movement support. The Slovenian Armed Forces managed to support exercises with its own capabilities and with the maximum engagement of its forces, mainly members of the Logistics Brigade, who supported allied units during the movement across the territory of the Republic of Slovenia. For the needs of the regional exercises, SAF units provided 35,765 overnight stays, around-the-clock medical care at 7 locations, and active medical care of 198 patients. In addition, they distributed 64,838 rations at 7 locations across Slovenia and convoyed 234 military vehicles, while the Military Police escorting convoys drove 23,520 kilometres.

The Slovenian Armed Forces is reducing the number of exercises per year, but increasing their complexity. This requires thorough preparation and coordination with all the participants, mobilisation of reserve forces and land properties, as well as more intensive cooperation with the local communities, whose support is crucial for a successful conduct of all the planned activities. The understanding of general public is also proven by a number of visitors at the demonstration events organised by the Slovenian Armed Forces during the course of the exercises at Cerklje ob Krki and Divača. When regional exercises concluded, Slovenian Armed Forces Commander Brigadier General Milan Žurman commended all SAF members on their enthusiasm and personal engagement and thanked them for the excellent work. He also expressed his appreciation for the cooperation and understanding to all organizations that had in any way participated in the conduct of regional exercises and is grateful to all the citizens for their support, understanding and trust in the Slovenian Armed Forces.

Photo: Slovenian Armed Forces archives