Slovak Chief of Defence Staff in Prague
(29 May) Chief of the Defence Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces Lieutenant General Milan Maxim met on 28 – 29 May in Prague with Army General Petr Pavel, Chief of the Defence Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic. He concluded that currently, mutual cooperation between the Slovak Armed Forces and the Army of the Czech Republic is particularly effective, with prospects of further development. “Hence, the Slovak Armed Forces remain committed to strengthening and continuing above-standard cooperation also in the future,” said SVK Chief of the Defence Staff. Chiefs of Defence evaluated the ongoing joint projects and visions of future cooperation in the field of training and exercises, operations, logistics and joint procurement. “The Czech Air Force is ready to safeguard the Slovak airspace, should Slovakia chose not to procure new fighter aircraft after the contract with Russia expires,” said Petr Pavel. The Slovak ChoD and his Czech counterpart attended Žofínske forum, which brought the issue of modernization of armament and equipment into focus, along with the prospects of development of the Army of the Czech Republic. At the end of his working trip, Lieutenant General Maxim met with the Czech Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický.
● In cooperation with the Famagusta hospital, volunteer blood donation was held in Gen. M. R. Štefánik Camp. 53 professional soldiers and one family member of the Slovak professional soldier decided to donate blood. 28 blood donors from Gen. M. R. Štefánik Camp and from UNFICYP HQ based in Nicosia were the Slovaks; the other donors were from the Serbian and Hungarian contingents. ● At the end of May, as part of provision of humanitarian assistance, volunteers serving in the Balkans in uniforms of the Slovak soldiers provided transportation of ventilation systems to dry up houses, as well as blankets, working clothes and gloves, clothes for children or disinfectants, antiseptics and other items to the flood -afflicted Balkans. The aid was initiated by Maj. (Ret.) Oto Beňo, who had served in UNPROFOR on the territory of the present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in KFOR in Kosovo. The Slovak veterans delivered the aid to Smederevska Palanka and to the Serbian village Lubovija on the border with Bosnia.
Computers for better price (29 May) The SVK MOD is set to purchase IT equipment significantly cheaper than previously es mated. Thanks to a transparent public procurement process using an electronic auc on, the Ministry of Defence will save up to 3 million euros, which may be invested in further modernisa on. "Six companies entered the tender for the purchase of 4,000 computers and 1,000 laptops. We managed to acquire them in an electronic auc on for 2.975 million euros," said SVK Minister of Defence Mar n Glváč at the press conference on Thursday, 29 May. "Even in the preparatory stage, when we were compiling materials for the tender, we invited an independent expert who could advise on the preparatory process. His remarks were incorporated in the papers for the tender and he was responsible for keeping the condi ons of the compe ve bidding nondiscriminatory," explained Minister Glváč. The Minister stressed the fact that the current computers were purchased in 2008 and they are now far beyond their moral and technical service life. Upon assuming his posi on, Mar n Glváč made eﬀec ve changes in the IT field. "We established the CIS (Communica on and Informa on Systems) Board, incorpora ng experts whose task was to make processes more eﬀec ve and save financial resources in the IT field. One of the results of their work are savings in IT and IS opera ng costs ranging from 15 to 20%, which represents 1.5-2 million euros annually," explained the Minister.
Peacekeepers' International Day
(29 May) On 29 May the world commemorated the Interna onal Day of UN Peacekeepers. Slovak servicemen, too, rank among members of the so-called blue helmets. SVK Armed Forces personnel are currently serving under the auspices of the UN in the UNFICYP peacekeeping opera on in Cyprus and the UNTSO observer mission in Syria. "The events of the last few days have clearly showed us that peace is very fragile and cannot be taken for granted. The Slovak Republic has been contribu ng to UN peacekeeping opera ons since its establishment and we plan to con nue with such ac vies, as laid down in the Government Policy Statement. It is one of our important contribu ons to the maintenance of peace and security in the world," said SVK Defence Minister Mar n Glváč.
● In the Training Battalion based in Martin, courses aimed at operation of the 30 mm AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher and the 14.5 mm KPVT machine gun were held on 22 – 30 May, and a course aimed at operation of NSV 12.7 mm heavy machine gun was held on 26 – 30 May. The members of the combat training company organized a final exercise aimed at firing from the above weapons, which exercise was held on 29 May in the Training Centre Lešť, in a firing range designated for fighting vehicles. Altogether 35 professional soldiers from the whole Slovak Armed Forces took part in the courses. ● On 28 – 29 May, the ELINT methodology workshop was held in the premises of the Radio and Technical Reconnaissance Company based in Prešov and in its detached posts. The workshop was held under the auspices of Chief of the Electronic Warfare and Intelligence Section of the Air Force Command Headquarters of the SVK Armed Forces. For the first time, such workshop was attended not only by the ELINT members, but present were also the representatives of other components from MOD and GS of the SVK Armed Forces responsible for the performance of the intelligence tasks to the required standard. ● The Slovaks operating in a military advisory team in Afghanistan continue mentoring and preparing the Afghan troops from the Rapid Response Battalion. Eleven soldiers from the 4th Mobile Strike Force have undergone a course aimed at operation of the 82 mm mortar under the lead of the Slovak advisor for fire support from the Security Force Advisory Team (SFAT). The Slovak team organizes specialized courses with a view to train instructors of the Afghan battalion who would subsequently take a lead and would be able to train the Afghan troops, so that the Afghan battalion would be ready to conduct combat operations independently, without any assistance from the advisors or mentors. In cooperation with the US battalion 1-12 Red Warriors, the Slovak advisors had planned and prepared the Red Thunder operation, in which the Afghan troops fired 30 mortar shells in a direct fire. They practiced burying a mortar, aiming and engaging a target, determining distance based on a map and issuing commands to fire.
New Chaplain General
(27 May) On Tuesday, 27 May, a ceremony was held on the occasion of installing a new Chaplain General of the ecumenical and pastoral services of the Armed Forces and Armed Corps of the Slovak Republic, Lieutenant Colonel Marián Bodolló. The ceremony was held in the presence of SVK ChoD Lieutenant General Milan Maxim, General Bishop of ECAC Slovakia and Chairman of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Slovakia Miloš Klátik, the Ordinary of the Armed Forces and Armed Corps of the Slovak Republic Mons. František Rábek, representatives of defence departments and ministries of justice and chaplains general from several European countries. Marián Bodolló is a graduate of the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Faculty of the Comenius University in Bratislava and has served as a chaplain in Hrachov in the vicinity of Rimavská Sobota. In 2007 he joined the armed forces and served in Martin and Trenčín. From December 2012 until June 2013 he served in ISAF, Afghanistan.
Ironman comes from Žilina
(28 May) The 10th Annual Ironman Competition was held on the premises of the Training Centre Lešť. A total of thirty representatives from the Ministries of Defence, Interior and Justice took part in the event. They competed with no set age groups or weight classes. A lieutenant from the Žilina-based 5th Special Forces Regiment won for the fourth consecutive year – something never achieved before. WO1 Peter Ursíny from the Police Corps Special Unit, based in Banská Bystrica, finished second and WO1 Michal Sklárčik from the Constitutional Authorities Protection Office came in third. Members of military units from all over Slovakia came to represent the Defence Department. In what was a competition with ten sporting events, they had to reach the end of their tether. After a quick redeployment in BDUs and boots with submachine-guns in the hands, they did the bench presses, pulled a military vehicle, engaged in pull-ups on the bar with an overhand grip, carried two logs, went over the CIZMA obstacle course, climbed the rope without using legs, carried external frame backpacks with loads, and finally swam across a water obstacle in uniforms.
SVK LOT teams deal with the aftermath of floods
country's northern region. Tens of thousands of civilians have been forced to leave their homes. Many roads and bridges have been destroyed, many households are without water and electricity supplies, but the biggest threat is posed by displacement of mines from the minefields. In response to the situation, EUFOR ALTHEA units earmarked forces and resources to assist civilians. SLOVCON members have provided help in transporting humanitarian aid from the Red Cross, escorting convoys with humanitarian aid to the most affected regions and distributing information materials warning citizens of the mine threat. Lt Col René Ház, EUFOR ALTHEA SLOVCON (27 May) The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina Commander, thanked all those involved and remains critical. Floods and massive landslides have expressed satisfaction with the performance of the catastrophic consequences particularly in the SVK liaison teams' tasks in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
eBULLETIN MoD SR
May 26 - June 1, 2014