In addition to specialised rescue, protection and relief forces and the voluntary assistance of citizens protection, rescue and relief services are also provided by members of the Slovenian Armed Forces, in accordance with their functions arising from Article 37 of the Defence Act, which also include participation in protection and rescue activities in the event of natural and other disasters.
In line with the law governing protection against natural and other disasters, the Slovenian Armed Forces participate in protection, rescue and relief activities in the event of natural and other disasters with their capabilities and according to their organizational structure and equipment. Their activities successfully support the system of protection against natural and other disasters and especially include aviation units, which take part in rescue and firefighting activities; NBC protection units; engineering units; medical services; and other units if they are not engaged in other defence-related missions. It cooperates with other protection, rescue and relief forces in air, land and sea search and rescue operations, and the evacuation of Slovenian citizens who are in direct danger in another country.
The Government decides on the participation of the Slovenian Armed Forces in protection and rescue activities. During a state of emergency, however, such decisions are made by the Minister at the proposal of the Civil Protection Commander of the Republic of Slovenia, or the Chief of the General Staff on the authorization of the Minister.
Participation in the protection, rescue and relief system forms a part of the 15th Wing duties. Helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) are in the domain of the Ministry of Health, however, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia has designated the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Police as HEMS providers. Every day, two Slovenian Armed Forces helicopters can be ready in 15 minutes to fly out for emergency interventions, inter-hospital transport, incubator transport and rescue in the mountains. The emergency crew of the Falcon 2000 EX aircraft is provided for the emergency transportation of organs for transplant within Europe.
Pursuant to Article 37 of the Defence Act, Article 24 of the Service in the Slovenian Armed Forces Act, and the relevant plans, the Slovenian Armed Forces may cooperate with the police in protecting the state border, certain facilities or areas, and in the implementation of other tasks. Additionally, it may assist other state bodies according to its capabilities.
Based on the decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia of 17 October 2015, the Slovenian Armed Forces cooperates with the Police in the broad protection of the state border within the national territory, and in the protection of certain facilities and areas.
The Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) has been taking part in the resolution of the migration issue since 16 September 2015, when it began to assist the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief in providing transportation, care and protection of reception and accommodation canters, deratization and disinfection, as well as in the preparation and distribution of hot meals and drinks. Following the decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the SAF has also been supporting the Ministry of the Interior since October 2015. Initially, SAF members worked in mixed patrols with the Police in providing the broad protection of the state border in the areas of respective police administrations. Later, they cooperated with the Police in setting up and maintaining temporary technical barriers, and since October 2018, they have been supporting the Police by observing the broad area around the state border. From the beginning of the migrant crisis until January 2019, the SAF deployed its members on migration issue-related tasks on almost 137,000 occasions, having covered a total of more than 4.4 million kilometres, prepared and distributed almost 200,000 meals and drinks, and erected and maintained about 160 kilometres of temporary technical barriers in line with the instructions of the Police. During the control the state border, SAF members travel an average of about 4,000 kilometres per day.
Since 13 March 2021, in accordance with the activated National Protection and Rescue Plan, the Slovenian Armed Forces has been providing various capabilities in support of the joint efforts to contain the spread of COVID19.
The veterinary unit conducts preventive disinfection of premises and equipment after shifts and disinfects health-care and public institutions. Every day, the logistics units provide transportation by trucks and buses, as well as hot meals for external institutions. The Military Medical Unit performs preventive or rapid examinations of the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia returning from abroad. At Edvard Peperko Barracks in Ljubljana, a ROLE II field hospital was set up providing operational and accommodation support. The Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defence Laboratory has set up a mobile biological laboratory to take swabs. The aviation of the Slovenian Armed Forces with its capabilities provides airlift of protective and medical equipment cargo and citizens of the Republic of Slovenia from abroad.
Joint efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the declared epidemic are supported by some 50 Slovenian Armed Forces members daily. Consequently, more than 900 members were engaged during the first wave of the epidemic. The Slovenian Armed Forces supports other ministries in preventing the spread of the new virus and responds to their requests every day. In the second half of March, it used its capabilities to support the spread of the virus travelling about 30,000 kilometres by military vehicles, making four flights with the Turbolet L-410 aircraft, examining just over a thousand people and preparing 225 hot meals.