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Prime Minister Janez Janša attending military training demonstrations as part of Exercise Defender Europe 2021

  • Former Prime Minister Janez Janša (2020 - 2022)

Today Prime Minister Janez Janša attended training demonstrations as part of the Defender Europe 2021 military exercise. Part of the exercise is also taking place in Slovenia between 1 May and 15 June under the command of the Slovenian Armed Forces Major General Miha Škerbinc. The demonstrations took place at the main training ground of the Slovenian Armed Forces at Poček.

In addition to the Prime Minister, the event was attended by the Slovenian Minister of Defence Matej Tonin, Chief of the Slovenian Armed Forces General Staff, Major General Robert Glavaš, and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod D. Wolters.

After the exercise, Minister of Defence Matej Tonin noted that the drill showed how well trained and prepared the Slovenian Armed Forces were, adding that the Slovenian Armed Forces are at the beginning of a modernisation process, for which sufficient staff and finances are key. “A stable source of funding has been secured for the Slovenian Armed Forces,” the Minister said, inviting young people to create an interesting and dynamic career for themselves in the army. He also expressed great satisfaction over the fact that all Slovenian soldiers returned home safely from Afghanistan after 17 years. 

In his address, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod D. Wolters, commented that an extremely complex and challenging exercise had been conducted, adding that all those who had been affected by COVID-19 in any way were kept in the soldiers’ thoughts. The Supreme Commander described Slovenia as a great nation, especially highlighting its discipline. He recalled Slovenia had been part of the Alliance ever since 2004, and has contributed greatly to stability and peace in the region. The general also pointed out that both the US and Slovenian soldiers within the Alliance continue to prove that we can be stronger together.

After the demonstrations, Prime Minister Janez Janša thanked the Slovenian soldiers for all their work and preparedness to defend their country, as well as for cooperating with the allies in ensuring security in Europe and within NATO in general. “I know you are tired after what you have just demonstrated and therefore I would only like to thank you again,” said the Prime Minister.