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Battalion Commander in the Nontraditional Role of Marksman on Exercise (March 7) A training exercise of the Michalovcebased Mechanized Battalion (Mech Bn Michalovce) at MTA Lešť brought some interesting moments. As part of tactical drills, Lt. Col. Ľubomír Rapco acted out the role of a marksman. “I was interested to know how and in what quality orders were given to soldiers. It was a great experience for me,” he admitted. It was the Chief of the Operations Section, Capt. Maroš Žoffčák, who came up with the idea of focusing especially on the preparation of commanding officers. The theoretical-tactical part of the exercise was conducted in the battalion's garrison facilities in Michalovce, greatly aided by instructors from the Lešt Training Centre. The exercise's practical phase unfolded at MTA Lešť, with the use of the MILES 2000 tactical simulation system. ● On Monday, 3 March, Colonel of the GS Miloš Mosný, the Commander of the Command, Control and Surveillance Brigade based at Zvolen, presented the badges “Air Navigator Class 3” to Lieutenant Dušan Gura and Lieutenant Marek Jantoš, both being members of the Air Navigation Division of the Brigade Operation Centre. The awarded soldiers have successfully completed the operational qualification training, having passed the classification exams and having obtained credits for navigation in a real-life operation. They will further enhance their professional skills and knowledge within the follow-on training aimed at reaching Class 2.

Women Recognised for IWD (March 3) To mark  the  Interna onal  Women’s  Day  (IWD), the SVK Ministry of Defence organized an exhibion of photographs by Monika Haima Kováčová, focusing on the lives of professional servicewomen. The photos  will  remain  on  display  in  the  Exhibi on  Hall  of  the  University Library un l 14 March 2014.     The  exhibi on  was  inaugurated  by  SVK  MOD  State  Secretary Miloš Koterec during an opening ceremony. In  the  words of  the exhibi on's  author,  the  theme of  the  exhibi on  simultaneously  corresponds  with  her  disserta on  thesis  at  the  Academy  of  Fine  Arts  and  Design.  “My father was a soldier and I feel great in the presence  of soldiers. I was more inclined towards arts, therefore I  became  a  photographer.  It  was  through  the  photo  images  that  I  wished  to  connect  art  with  armed  forces,”  she explained.     The  exhibi on  portraying  servicewomen  consists  of  three  thema c  sec ons.  Sec on  1  shows  female  paratroopers,  i.e.  the  women  who  opted  for  the  “adrenaline” specialisa on. Sec on 2 captures SVK servicewomen deployed with UNFICYP in Cyprus. Sec on 3  depicts  the  engagement  of  SVK  servicewomen  in  ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina.      The  SVK  MOD  set  up  the  exhibi on  on  SVK  servicewomen  in  recogni on  of  their  contribu on  to  the  SVK  Armed Forces. The Chair of the Women's Armed Forces  Associa on,  Sergeant  1st  Class  Alexandra  Števaňáková,  remarked  that  women  join  the  military  mainly  for  two  reasons:  “Either  they  have  a  family  member  serving  in  the  military,  or  want  to  be  on  an  equal  foo ng  with  their male counterparts, or reach for new adventures.”  IWD was celebrated not only throughout military garrisons and units but also in the premises of the SVK MOD  in  Kutuzov's  Barracks.  Turned  into  a  café  with  live  music, the MOD Club hosted the IWD event, where Minister  of  Defence  Mar n  Glváč  congratulated  the  MOD  employees on this day. 

● On 5 March, after a standstill of several years, a methodology workshop was held on the premises of the Training Battalion Martin, to include practical instruction on preparation of equipment for summer operation. In the theoretical part, technicians and mechanics from the whole AF SR were briefed on the current state and on solutions leading to improvement. In the practical part, organized by members of the Repair and Maintenance Battalion Martin, the proper procedures were introduced as to preparation of the infantry fighting vehicle BVP-1, Tatra – 815 and vehicle Aktis 4x4 for operation in summer.

US Ambassador on Visit

(March 6) On Thursday, 6 March, the United States Ambassador Theodore Sedgwick made a visit to Žilina, where the US Special Forces Unit and the Slovak Special Operations Forces (SOF) train together within the Joint Combined Education Training (JCET). He took an interest in the current state of pre-deployment preparation of the SOF, prior to their deployment to ISAF, Afghanistan. On the premises of the 5th Special Operations Forces’ Regiment, he was accompanied by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the AF SR Major General Pavel Macko and by Matthew Atkins and Andrew Taylor, the US military diplomats accredited to the Slovak Republic.

● Within bilateral cooperation between the SR and US, resulting in a release of the US funds, members of the Supply Base - Supply Class 5 (ZZ ZT-5) Martin, in concert with the 5th Special Forces Regiment as a beneficiary, take over the property acquired without consideration to address the needs of the Slovak Department of Defence. In compliance with the regulations issued by defence professional bodies, ZZ ZT-5 Martin takes over and stores the supplied ammunition in the Ammunition Supply Point Trenčín. The members of the Ammunition Testing Centre Nováky adopt the procedure necessary to introduce the ammunition safely in the inventory of the AF SR. ● Assessment and evaluation of performance of goals in the training year 2013 was the main point on agenda of the commander meeting called by the Commander of the 12th mechanized battalion, which meeting was held on 4 March in Nitra. In his opening presentation, the senior logistics officer First Lieutenant Jozef Kľoc analyzed in detail the issue of damages and losses suffered in the training year 2013. The legal advisor First Lieutenant Szabolcs Horváth presented an evaluation of the working and service discipline, and the Deputy Battalion Commander Major Andrej Tvrdoň made a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of performance of tasks in the training year 2013, focusing on individual fields of interest. Eventually, Col. of the GS Ján Bujňák, the Commander of the 1st mb, gave his address to the participants ● Colonel Martin Michalko, the Commander of the Brigade Prešov, dedicated a Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) track and school-room in Biela Hora and Michalovce. A C-IED schoolroom in the premises of the engineering company of the 2nd mb Michalovce is actually a part of a C-IED track in Biela Hora. These will facilitate C-IED training, engineering training and specialized explosive ordnance reconnaissance (EOR) courses. By building the track, new horizons have opened up for participants of C-IED courses, namely in terms of maintaining their professional skills and experience as well as in terms of training on tactical level (training of individuals and teams) in the field of stabilization activities or offensive and defensive activities.

Ordinariate Celebrates

(March 4) On the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the establishment of the Ordinariate of the Armed Forces and the Armed Corps of the SR as a specific institutionalized diocese providing the Catholic Church’s pastoral and spiritual services to those serving in the army, and police, as well as to rescue professionals, the Holly Mass was celebrated in the Bratislava Cathedral of the Ordinariate on 4th March. The Mass was celebrated by Mons. František Rábek, the Military Ordinary of the AF and AC of the SR, and by the auxiliary bishop in the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy Prešov Mons. Milan Lach and the military, police, fire rescue and prison chaplains, in the presence of the representatives and members of Department of Defence, Department of the Interior, Armed Forces and Armed Corps of the SR.

First Afghan Soldiers Graduate from SFAT-organized Courses

The courses organized by the SVK Security Forces Advisory Team (SVK SFAT) saw their first graduates. A total of 29 members of the Afghan

National Army were awarded their attendance certificates for the Sniper course and the C-IED Awareness course at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Lagman. SVK staff advisors assisted their Afghan counterparts with the design of a training scheme in an effort to complete the training of the battalion personnel's selected skills. Immediately in the days of their deployment, they opened the Sniper course and the C-IED Awareness course. The aim of SFAT's advisory activity is to train selected Afghan personnel who, in turn, will train their colleagues. A total of 13 ANA personnel from manoeuvre companies and a reconnaissance platoon graduated from the Sniper course, while 16 soldiers completed the C -IED Awareness course.


Our Personnel in Ukraine

(March 5) The Slovak Republic sent two members of the SVK Armed Forces to Ukraine. The servicemen are part of the International Inspection Group from the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation) countries. This short-term inspection is being conducted in conformity with the provisions of Article 18 of the Vienna Document of 2011 on Confidence- and SecurityBuilding Measures. Being an OSCE participating state, Ukraine justified the inspectors' invitation by its “efforts to diffuse the concerns over military activities.” SVK Minister of Defence Martin Glváč emphasized that it was not an OSCE monitoring mission but a mission in compliance with the provisions of the Vienna Document.

March 3 - 9, 2014

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