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President of the Republic visits troops in Vrhnika

Vrhnika, 12/01/2006  |  press release

Click to enlargePresident of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Slovenian Army dr. Janez Drnovšek, together with the Defence Minister Karel Erjavec and Deputy Chief of the General Staff Major General Alojz Šteiner, visited the Ivan Cankar barracks in Vrhnika, where he was received with military honours.

Click to enlargeCaptain Renato Petrič, commandant of Slovenian Army forces, presented the participation of Slovenian Army in crisis response operations to the President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Slovenian Army. More than 350 Slovenian soldiers are currently taking part in such operations: in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Kosovo, in Afganistan, Iraq, the Congo and two observers in Lebanon. This week, the Slovenian Armed Forces also performed the regular replacement of military instructors in Iraq, and 12 soldiers will be deployed for Unifil mission to Lebanon in the next few days. Captain Petrič also said that the 10th Motorized Battalion (MOTB) and other units that support it returned from one month's training at the exercise area of Varpalota in Hungary at the end of November. At the final training, a judgment was made on the fitness of the 10th MOTB to cooperate in crisis response operations. It will be leaving for a mission in Kosovo next year.

Click to enlargeColonel Anton Tunja, commandant of the 1st Brigade of the Slovenian Army (BRSV), continued the presentation by presenting final operational capacities of the 10th MOTB. In particular, he presented the course of training at the Varpalota exercise area in Hungary. Colonel Tunja said that the major activity in the exercise was judgment of readiness and fitness of the 10th MOTB that was the Slovenian Army's first unit to have successfully completed its training within the operational cycle. This was the final and the most important stage in reaching MOTB's final operational capacities prior to its anticipated deployment for a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in February 2007. The entire 10th MOTB received a positive rating for taking part in all crisis response operations. The Slovenian Army has thus accomplished one of the most demanding tasks since 1991.

At the conclusion of the presentation, President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Slovenian Army, dr. Janez Drnovšek, thanked them for an exhaustive and useful presentation. He said that he had a good impression of the progress made by the 1st BRSV in achieving the set objectives, particularly by the 10th MOTB. Similarly, there have been quality changes in the 10th MOTB's state of equipment and training with regard to the latest assessment of preparedness which Slovenian Army commanders included in their briefing on the state of preparedness for 2005. On the completion of the operational cycle, this unit satisfied all the conditions required for its actions in all crisis response operations of the Alliance. Dr. Janez Drnovšek stated that experiences acquired during the one month's training in Hungary represented a solid guarantee for MOTB's successful performance in future military operations. Tests of the 10th MOTB's operational capacity have shown the expected results. President Drnovšek stressed the important role of the 10th MOTB in peacemaking and peacekeeping operations outside Slovenia and concluded by saying that the Slovenian Army is operating solidly within the framework of the given possibilities and by expressing satisfaction with the presented results.