41st Slovenian KFOR Contingent assumes operational tasks in Kosovo
In the beginning of July, the 41st KFOR contingent of the Slovenian Armed Forces on the mission in Kosovo began to take over its tasks in the area of responsibility. As part of the preparations, members of the Sierra motorized company underwent training in the area of operations and met the conditions to attain full operational capability. Together with members of the deployed partner forces, company members trained helicopter medical evacuation procedures, airlift of the crowd and riot control unit, pyrophobia and ensuring freedom of movement.
The 41st contingent under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Igor Šepec includes 250 members from various Slovenian Armed Forces units. The bulk of the contingent stationed at Camp Villaggio Italia near Peja/Pec, consists of a manoeuvre company. The contingent also includes six liaison monitoring teams, a national support element and a military police team. Some members also work at KFOR's multinational headquarters.
The Slovenian Armed Forces first deployed its members to Kosovo in January 2000. Until 2007, Slovenian units constituted a part of the forces of other armed forces. In February 2007, for the first time in the history of its participation in multinational operations and missions, the Slovenian Armed Forces deployed an entire battalion-level unit. The Slovenian Armed Forces were then for the first time in charge of their own area of responsibility and in command of a partner military unit from a NATO country. At the same time, the Slovenian Armed Forces deployed civil-military cooperation experts to Kosovo and implemented several projects as part of the assistance to the local population, which captured attention at the local level.
In Kosovo, Slovenian troops are tasked with maintaining a safe and stable environment, providing conditions for the transfer of responsibility to civilian authorities, exercising control over communications and checkpoints, protecting facilities of special importance and implementing civil-military cooperation projects.