We are sending a clear and strong message that we are committed to preserving peace!
On Friday, 25th August Commander of the Canadian Army Lieutenant General Paul Wynnyk and his delegation began the working visit in Slovenia. After an Office call with state secretary Milošu Bizjaku, he was welcomed by Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) Force Commander Brigadier General Milko Petek in the Ljubljana Barracks. The pair discussed the cooperation of their respective troops in the Enhanced Forward Presence mission in Latvia, where the first Slovenian contingent is deployed as part of the Canadian-led battalion battle group. During his visit, Lieutenant General Wynnyk observed the pre-deployment preparations of the second SAF contingent and two additional units: 1st Brigade in Ljubljana and 15th Wing in Cerklje ob Krki.
Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk said that it was an honor to visit Slovenia, meet with Brigadier-General Milko Petek and to take part in key discussions with military leadership and troops who directly support the enhanced Forward Presence Battle group in Latvia. In his opinion we are sending together with our Allies a clear and strong message that we are committed to preserving peace and preventing conflict in Central and Eastern Europe.
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 is formed of a CBRN platoon, a team of Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, members assigned to 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).
Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) Force Commander Brigadier General Milko Petek said that it was a privilege to host Lt Gen Paul Wynnyk in Slovenia. Slovenia contributes its troop to the Canadian-led Battle Group in Latvia along with four other allied nations. The multinational character of the eFP battle groups is the key feature in sending a message of allied solidarity and burden-sharing. The multinational character, especially when implemented at the low tactical level, however, brings about practical interoperability-related challenges. In that respect, I have reaffirmed to Lt Gen Wynnyk the SAF's firm support of the Battle Group Commanding Officer’s efforts to achieve and sustain the operational readiness directed by SHAPE. With open lines of communication, which LTG Wynnyk's visit to Slovenia furthered, I am most confident in our ability to overcome all possible challenges posed by a complex security environment.
By participating in the Enhanced Forward Presence, Slovenia expresses its support for the strengthening of NATO’s comprehensive and credible deterrence and defense 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.
Photo: Daniel Mlakar, General Staff SAF