On 14 May 1997, Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) members were deployed to a crisis response operation for the first time: the humanitarian operation Alba in Albania. Between then and the end of 2018, the SAF deployed some 13,000 members to 25 different international operations and missions. With international deployments of more than 5% of the SAF's active component members, we rank among the allies bearing an above-average operational burden. In February 2007, the Slovenian Armed Forces deployed a battalion-sized unit to an international operation for the first time in its history. The unit assumed its own area of responsibility and was in command of members of a foreign armed force, a member of NATO.
Today, the Slovenian Armed Forces is participating in twelve missions with more than 340 members. Current international operations and missions with the participation of the Slovenian Armed Forces include: Afghanistan – RSM, Bosnia and Herzegovina – JOINT ENTERPRISE and ALTHEA, Kosovo – KFOR, North Macedonia – JOINT ENTERPRISE, Serbia – JOINT ENTERPRISE, Mali – EUTM, Lebanon – UNIFIL, Syria – UNTSO, Italy – Irini, Iraq – OIR, Latvia – eFP. Slovenian Armed Forces members also operate within the EU Battle Group and the NATO Response Force, designed to operate in operations both inside and beyond the Alliance. The Slovenian Armed Forces also appoints its members to peacetime positions in military representations and the NATO structure, and within EU forces, international organizations and bodies, and multinational staffs or commands.
Participation of Slovenian Armed Forces members in international operations and missions in 2022
|International operation/mission – No of Slovenian Armed Forces members||17. 6.|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina - JOINT ENTERPRISE, NATO||4|
|Kosovo - KFOR, NATO||99|
|Serbia - JOINT ENTERPRISE, NATO||1|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina - ALTHEA, EU||16|
|Mali - EUTM, EU||4|
|Syria - UNTSO, ZN||3|
|Italy - EUNAVFOR||3|
|Iraq - OIR||2+1|
|Latvia - eFP||49|
|Slovakia - eVA||96|
From the security, foreign policy, economic and other aspects, the area of the Western Balkans is of strategic importance to us. The focus of the Slovenian Armed Forces' international operational activities therefore remains in this region, where the processes related to stabilization, reform and Euro-Atlantic integration have not yet been completed. The Slovenian KFOR contingent in Kosovo supports international security efforts and the development of Kosovo's security institutions. We are actively involved in operation EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose basic mission is to support their authorities and institutions in maintaining a safe and stable environment. We actively participate in the work of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo and in the NATO Liaison Offices in Belgrade and Skopje, through which we provide support to host countries in the implementation of defence and security reforms and approximation to or cooperation with Euro-Atlantic structures.
By participating in the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Latvia, the Slovenian Armed Forces are contributing to NATO’s deterrence and defence posture as NATO’s joint response to the changed security environment on NATO’s Eastern Flank. It is a measure that unequivocally reflects NATO’s unity, determination and solidarity with our eastern allies in the Baltics. We work closely with Montenegro, as its military squad is integrated into the Slovenian contingent, which strengthens Slovenia's mentoring role in international operations and missions. The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia deploys a civilian observer to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, as a contribution to reducing tensions and strengthening dialogue on the ground.
Recognizing the global security challenges and the importance of joint action and solidarity in addressing them, we are participating in the fight against Daesh/ISIL within Operation Inherent Resolve, and in the stabilization efforts within the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. We actively participate in the EUNAVFOR maritime operation Irini, which is an important part of the European Union's comprehensive approach to tackling refugee and migrant issues in the Mediterranean. We are contributing to building security capabilities in Mali (EU Training Mission), addressing the root causes of instability in the Sahel, which is a potential security challenge for Europe and, indirectly, for us as well. Due to the complexity, intertwining and long-term nature of security and other challenges in the Middle East we maintain the continuity of participation in UN missions UNIFIL and UNTSO.
Slovenian Armed Forces units also form a part of the NATO Response Force (NRF) and European Union Battlegroups (EUBG), which are capable of carrying out the full range of crisis response tasks and whose role is gaining strength in the changed security environment. By participating in these multinational structures, the Slovenian Armed Forces improves its interoperability with Allied armed forces, its responsiveness and the ability to work together under various crisis response scenarios, including collective defence activities.
For the Republic of Slovenia, which does not own adequate aviation capabilities, the North Atlantic Alliance is conducting a peacetime mission to protect Slovenian airspace (NATO Air Policing). For the implementation of this mission, the Republic of Slovenia provides air traffic control and search and rescue capabilities while maintaining full sovereignty in its airspace. With the exception of its costs for air traffic control and the provision of readiness of the permanent helicopter search and rescue service, the Republic of Slovenia has no additional financial obligations within this mission.