LATVIA –Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP)
At the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016, the Heads of State and Government of all the NATO member states unanimously decided to deploy four multinational battalion battle groups as part of the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
At this summit, in the spirit of Allied solidarity, the Republic of Slovenia expressed its readiness to participate in a multinational eFP battle group. In October 2016, at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, it announced its contribution of an up-to-50-member contingent (dependent on the Government’s decision).
The Republic of Slovenia operates in Latvia under the leadership of Canada as the lead nation of the battle group, which also includes Albania, Italy, Poland and Spain. Currently, the Slovenian Armed Forces participates in the eFP with a 50-member contingent. The deployed SAF members take part in the peacetime activities of the eFP forces (exercises, training, movements to protect own forces and other peacetime activities to ensure and maintain a comprehensive and enhanced NATO defence and deterrence posture).
By participating in the Enhanced Forward Presence, Slovenia expresses its support for the strengthening of NATO’s comprehensive and credible deterrence and defence posture. In this way, the Alliance responds to the 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. 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 appropriate joint military response.
The formation and operation of multinational eFP units on the Alliance's eastern flank are based on the common decisions of the North Atlantic Council. The decision to deploy multinational battalion battle groups in Poland and the three Baltic states was reached at the highest political level at the NATO Summit in July 2016 in Warsaw. The positioning of these units on the eastern flank reflects the Alliance’s unity, cohesion, decisiveness, determination and solidarity, and sends out a message that every Allied nation is backed by the entire Alliance, and that any aggression against any Allied nation will be deterred using an adequate joint military response. The use of eFP battalion battle groups is under the strict political control of NATO, which is a consensus-based alliance.