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Six Years After Tragedy

(March 2) The MoD State Secretary Miloš Koterec traveled to Nováky on Saturday to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the accident in the Military Repair Works (VOP), when the explosion of ammunition killed eight and injured tens of employees. “Six years have passed from the tragic accident that had struck your town, and especially you - the relatives and friends of the victims. I recall when the news hit, what the images of the site of the explosion looked like. But it's hard to imagine how you have felt and what you have thought at that very moment,“ said Koterec. Despite the fact that the parties responsible for the explosion have not been convicted yet, Koterec believes justice will be served. The explosion in March 2007 damaged a large part of VOP Nováky. Its leadership had immediately adopted measures to eliminate further risks. ● Personnel preparing for deployment to the EUFOR ALTHEA operation (rotations June and September 2013) conducted a tactical exercise called Winter Harvest. The exercise held on February 18 at the Military Operations Training Unit of the Training Battalion in Martin was the culmination point of a threeweek training led by specialists from the Department of Special Training of the Martin battalion.

Afghanistan: What's Next? (February 26) In January next year Slovakia plans to contribute two rota ons of Special Forces units to the SOTG in Afghanistan, a total of up to 150 soldiers, said Defense Minister Mar n Glváč at a press conference in Bra slava, a er having submi ed the proposal for the amended mandate of Slovak troops in Afghanistan for approval to the Slovak Security Council and the Government. Glváč confirmed that our soldiers will remain in Afghanistan un l the conclusion of the ISAF opera on, i.e. un l December 31, 2014. Our future involvement in the country a er this date would only be possible under an interna onal mandate. “The SOTG will be tasked with training Afghan security forces. The core of our con ngent will be formed by members of the 5th Special Forces Regiment, and the request for the amended mandate is consistent with our interna onal obliga ons,“ added Defense Minister Glváč. The deployment of Slovak SOTG troops has the support of the United States that have declared 19-20 mil. EUR to ou it the unit. “This in itself is an acknowledgement of the quality of our soldiers, it also saves us money and helps build capabili es that we need,“ said Glváč, adding that Slovakia has been prepared to deploy the SOTG already in 2012, while we were withdrawing some of our troops. He also emphasized that 150 SOTG specialists and 14 Force Protec on Unit soldiers represent the maximum size of the force, and the actual numbers will be specified a er reaching an agreement with our partners. In the words of Lt. Gen. Peter Vojtek, the Chief of the General Staff, this accomplishment is largely due to the work of the 5th Special Forces Regiment soldiers, and the team which had been providing support for their deployments since September 2011. “Currently we have our third rota on in Afghanistan. Its return in March will mark the end of our Special Opera ons Task unit (SOTU) mission,“ he said. Referring to the planned SOTG unit deployment Vojtek confirmed, that the real size of the unit could be around 80-90 SOF operators. SOTG will be tasked with providing support, mentoring and advising the Special Opera ons units of the Afghan security forces. Special Opera ons Task Group will be ou i ed with state-of-the-art equipment and arms in order to guarantee the maximum possible protec on of our soldiers.

● Based on discussions held between the chiefs of the General Staffs of the Czech Army and the Slovak Armed Forces on the development of cooperation in the area of communication and information systems, a short-wave radio connectivity training was conducted linking units of the Czech Army (commanding station – 101st Comlink Support Battalion Lipník nad Bečvou) and those of the Slovak Armed Forces (subordinated station – Comlink Support Battalion Trenčín). The goal was to test the interoperability of short-wave radio transmitters and receivers operated by the respective armed services, and train operators in securing comlinks in the international environment using the English language and various types of transceivers.

Cooperation With Indonesia (February 26) Slovakia is interested in developing military cooperation with Indonesia, said Defense Minister Martin Glváč at a meeting with the Indonesian Ambassador to the Slovak Republic, H.E. Djumantoro Purwokoputro Purbo. Glváč informed the distinguished guest of the finalization of the White Book on Defense and the reorganization of Military Intelligence and said we saw room for cooperation in the military-technical area, in maintenance, repairs and modernization of military equipment, but also in training. On his part, the Indonesian Ambassador confirmed the interest of his country to deepen the mutual relations in all areas, including defense. Glváč also mentioned the Agreement on Cooperation with Indonesia, which is in the final stage of review - it will intensify the cooperation in training and education and in the military field.

● On Wednesday the Military Council of the Chief of the General Staff met for the first time in 2013 to discuss and approve the document on utilizing civilian experts, voluntary military servicemen and active reservists in the Slovak Armed Forces at peacetime. The Council also approved the concept of developing medical capabilities in the military, and the plan for storing, supplying and distributing fuel and modernizing the corresponding equipment by 2020. The Military Council discussed and approved the plan for procuring military apparel for professional soldiers starting 2014, listing measures necessary to address the persisting deficit of unused monthly clothing coupons and the idea of outsourcing the military apparel supply services. The next meeting of the council is scheduled for March 27, 2013. ● Employees of the Family Center “Pod Prameňmi” at Sliač were pleasantly surprised by an unexpected gift that had been personally handed over to them by the Chief of the General Staff. Lt. Gen. Peter Vojtek decided to donate the microwave oven he had won in a raffle at the Air Force Ball to this civic association assisting women with children. Lt. Gen. Vojtek visited the Center in the company of Col. Vladimír Lisý, Commander of the Sliač Mixed Wing, and Jozef Žabka, the Head of the Sliač Municipal Office. ● On February 25, 2013 soldiers from the Military Firefighting Unit (VHJ) of the Prešov Helicopter Wing conducted a firefighting exercise at the ATC tower aimed at improving their practical skills in extinguishing fire in confined spaces in a multistorey building. Firefighters trained skills such as stretching hoselines to the upper floors, extending and shortening the lines, buddying within the firefighting unit and evacuating an injured person using autonomous breathing systems. ● In February, members of the Mobile Force Reserve (MFR) were awarded medals for service in the UNFICYP peacekeeping mission in Cyprus. The MFR unit is integrated in the UNFICYP command structure and its main task is to serve as a permanent stand-by force of UNFICYP Force Commander Maj. Gen. Chao Liu. The unit consists of soldiers of four nationalities – Britons, Argentinians, Hungarians and Slovaks. In MFR the Slovak Armed Forces are represented by a commanding officer and 9 soldiers divided into two platoons.

LOTN Will Repair Mi-17 Helos (February 28) Aircraft Repair Works in Trenčín (LOTN) has succeeded in securing an important foreign order: a revision of Mi-17 helicopters. Defense Minister Martin Glváč and the Director of the LOTN Milan Mutala made the news public on Thursday during a press conference held in one of LOTN's halls. In August 2012 LOTN had responded to an international RFP issued by a U.S. company. “The request was for a complete revision of 3 helicopters. It pleases me that LOT Trenčín has succeeded in securing a deal which supplements orders from the Defense Ministry. That enables us to save money,” said Glváč, adding “we shall maintain the number of jobs in LOTN as we had promised a month ago“. The revisions and repairs of Mi-17 helicopters will be carried out at LOTN consistent with the approved procedures and documentation under the respective certificates. Director of LOTN confirmed that Defense Minister Glváč and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák played key roles in securing this order, which should not be the last of its kind. LOTN plans to enter international RFPs and try to secure orders also in the future.

A Surprise Visit to Tarin Kowt

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(February 25) Col. Habbibulah, Commander of the Kandahar Artillery School accompanied by his adjutant Maj. Fazelrabbi and Lt. Col Shira, Commander of the 4th Kandak of the 205th Afghan National Army (ANA) Corps, paid a surprise visit to the area of dislocation of the CSS MAT D–30 unit. Afghan guests learned of the collaboration of Slovak military advisors and the 4KDK/205 ANA artillery troops in repairing and maintaining the D-30 howitzers for ANA. They were pleasantly surprised by the increase in knowledge and skills of the ANA soldiers who have been trained by Slovak specialists. Afghan officials inspected the repaired howitzers and also one D-30 which is still undergoing repair. A passionate technical debate ensued. The Slovak military advisory team has been operating at the multinational Tarin Kowt base since September 2012. As an added value of the collaboration, the team trains ANA personnel so skillfully that already under consideration is the idea of building a Center of Excellence for D-30 Repairs at Tarin Kowt, an activity that would also involve Slovak soldiers operating in the area.

eBULLETIN MoD SR

February 25 - March 3, 2013


eBulletin 10/2013 - en