Military of Slovenia

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Slovenian Army
Slovenska vojska
Sign of Slovenian Army.svg
Founded 1991
Service branches Slovenian Navy
Slovenian Air Force and Air Defence
Slovenian Ground Force
Headquarters Ljubljana
Leadership
Commander-in-Chief Borut Pahor (president of Slovenia)
Minister of Defense Roman Jakič
Chief of staff Andrej Osterman (Brigadier)
Manpower
Military age 18
Conscription Abolished in 2003
Available for
military service
496,929, age 17 (voluntary) (2005 est.)
Fit for
military service
405,593, age 17 (voluntary) (2005 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
(2005 est.)
Active personnel 7,300 (professional soldiers) (ranked 123rd)
Reserve personnel 1,500 (contract reserve soldiers)
Expenditures
Budget €378,575,978 (2013)[1]
Percent of GDP 1.02% (2013)[2]
Related articles
History Slovenian War of Independence
Slovenian Territorial Defence
Ranks Slovenian military ranks

Anthem of the Slovenian Army

The Military of Slovenia consists of the Slovenian Armed Forces (also Slovenian Army; officially Slovene Slovenska vojska; SAF/SV). The SAF are the armed forces of Slovenia. Since 2003, it is organized as a fully professional standing army. The Commander-in-Chief of the SAF is the President of the Republic of Slovenia (Borut Pahor), while operational command is in the domain of the Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, the position being held since October 2014 by brigadier Andrej Osterman.

History[edit]

The military history of Slovenia spans less than a hundred years. Following the disintegration of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I, the Duchy of Styria was divided between the newly established states of German Austria and the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. Rudolf Maister, a Slovene major of the former Austro-Hungarian Army, liberated the town of Maribor in November 1918 and claimed it to the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. After a short fight with German Austrian provisional units, the current border was established, which mostly followed the ethnic-linguistic division between Slovenes and ethnic Germans in Styria.

The current Slovenian Armed Forces are descended from the Slovenian Territorial Defence (Teritorialna Obramba Republike Slovenije; or Slovene TO), formed in 1991 by fusion of Territorial Defence (formed in 1968 as a paramilitary complement to the regular army of the former Yugoslav within the territory of Slovenia) with secret alternative command structure, known as the Manoeuvre Structures of National Protection (Manevrska struktura narodne zaščite, or MSNZ), which was an existing but antiquated institution, (unique to Slovenia), intended to enable the republic to form an ad hoc defence structure, akin to a Home Guard. It was of negligible importance prior to 1990, with antiquated weapons and few members.

When Slovenia declared independence at the onset of the Yugoslav Wars in 1991, the Slovenian Territorial Defence and the Slovenian police comprised the majority of forces engaging the Yugoslav People's Army during the Ten-Day War. The Slovenian Armed Forces were formally established in 1993 as a reorganization of the Slovenia Territorial Defence.

Flag of the Army

Current status[edit]

After 1993, the Slovenian Armed Forces had relied on mandatory military service, with conscripts receiving 6–7 months of training. In 2003, the Slovenian Government abolished conscription and as of July 2004, the Slovenian Armed Forces had been almost completely reorganised into a professional army now based on volunteers. Currently there are approximately 7,300 active troops and approximately 1,500 in reserve, reduced from 55,000 personnel during conscription.

A major reorganization of the Slovenian Armed Forces is currently underway[3] with a goal making them more effective and cheaper. More than half of all commands have been disbanded which has made commanding the subordinated units easier and faster. Soldiers are to be located nearer to their homes in order to minimize travel costs. Since the Slovenian Armed Forces do not have enough modern armored vehicles to maintain three motorized battalions fulfilled at every time, one Wheeled Combat Vehicles Company and one Tank Company have been organized within the Logistics brigade, which now lends vehicles to any of four newly formed infantry regiments, regarding to the regiments' needs. Reorganization also transformed 72nd Brigade from a support unit to a combat unit and thus equaled it with the 1st Brigade. Both brigades were added support elements, such as Air Defense, Artillery, Intelligence, etc. The operational units now consist of Special Operations Unit, Naval Division, an Aviation Regiment and three brigades, the 1st (responsible for western Slovenia), 72nd (responsible for eastern Slovenia) and Logistics Brigade.

NATO membership[edit]

Slovene KFOR unit

As part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slovenia was never a member of the Warsaw Pact. Today, the foreign policy priority of NATO membership drives Slovenia's defense reorganization. Once many countries lifted the arms embargo on Slovenia in 1996, the country embarked on a military procurement program to bolster its status as a NATO candidate and to aid its transformation into a mobile force. Active in the SFOR deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia is also a charter member of Partnership for Peace and a regular participant in PfP exercises. The United States provides bilateral military assistance to Slovenia, including through the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, the State Partnership Program (aligned with Colorado), and the EUCOM Joint Contact Team Program.

Slovenia formally joined NATO in March 2004.[4] The transition of its armed forces from a primarily conscript-based territorial defense organization to a professional force structure have the ultimate goal of creating NATO-interoperable combat units able to operate on an even par with units from other NATO armies. Implementation of interoperability objectives as determined by the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the Individual Partnership Program (IPP) as part of Slovenia's PfP participation proceeds. Slovenia's elite units already train with and are integrated into international units including NATO members—for example as part of SFOR and on Cyprus. Its elite mountain troops will be assigned to the Multinational Land Force peacekeeping battalion with Italy, Hungary, and Croatia. Slovenia hosted its first PfP exercise in 1998--"Cooperative Adventure Exchange"—a multinational disaster-preparedness command post exercise involving almost 6,000 troops from 19 NATO and PfP member nations.

Slovenian soldiers are a part of international forces serving in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan,[5] Iraq, Chad, Lebanon. They have also served in Cyprus and the Golan Heights as a part of UNFICYP and UNDOF respectively.

Slovenia hosts Multinational Centre of Excellence for Mountain Warfare (MN COEMW; Slovene: Večnacionalni center odličnosti za gorsko bojevanje), one of NATO Centres of Excellence, located in Bohinjska Bela, Slovenia. It is "responsible for training individuals and units for operation in the mountains and other terrains difficult to pass".[6]

Organization[edit]

Slovenian Army Bell 412 Helicopter

The Slovenian Armed Forces are organized as single-branch armed forces with the army as their primary component. The personnel is divided into three categories:

  • professional soldiers (full-time soldiers)
  • contract reserve soldiers (serve up to 30 days per year)
  • voluntary recruits (basic training)

Commands and units[edit]

Structure of the Slovenian Armed Forces since 15 May 2013
  • General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces
  • Verification Centre
  • Support Unit
  • Military Police Unit
  • Electronic Warfare Unit
  • Unit for Communication and Information Systems
  • Military Orchestra
  • Protocol Unit
  • Sports Unit
  • Joint Operational Centre
  • Situation Monitoring Section
  • Movement Coordination Section
  • Operations Management Section
  • Support Branch
  • Military Schools Centre
  • Command and Staff School
  • Officer Candidate School
  • Non-Commissioned Officer School
  • School of Foreign Languages
  • Skills Centre
  • Library and Information Centre
  • E-Learning Section
  • Military Museum
  • Special Operations Unit
  • Company for Special Operations
  • Combat Service Support Company
  • Special Operations Training Centre
  • 1st Brigade
  • 10th Infantry Regiment
  • 132nd (Mountain) Infantry Regiment
  • Branch Battalion
  • Light Rocket Air Defense Battery
  • Engineer Company
  • Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Defense Company
  • Signals Company
  • Military Police Company
  • Intelligence and Reconnaissance Company
  • Fire Support Battery (Artillery)
  • Anti-Tank Company
  • Territorial Regiment
  • 72nd Brigade
  • 20th Infantry Regiment
  • 74th Infantry Regiment
  • Branch Battalion
  • Light Rocket Air Defense Battery
  • Engineer Company
  • Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Defense Company
  • Signals Company
  • Military Police Company
  • Intelligence and Reconnaissance Company
  • Fire Support Battery (Artillery)
  • Anti-Tank Company
  • Territorial Regiment
  • Logistics Brigade
  • Medical Unit
  • 157th Logistics Regiment
  • 5th Wheeled Combat Vehicles Company
  • 45th Tank Company
  • 670th Logistics Regiment
  • 15th Wing (Military Aviation Regiment)
  • 151st Rotary Wing Squadron
  • 152nd Fixed Wing Squadron
  • 153rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
  • 107th Air Base
  • 16th Air Space Control and Surveillance Centre
  • Flight School
  • 430th Naval Division (Regiment)
  • Maritime Operational Centre
  • Multirole Vessels Detachment
  • Special Underwater Operations Detachment
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon

Military airports (Slovenian army)[edit]

The Slovenian army currently maintains one military airport Cerklje ob Krki near town of Brežice. The airport's official name is Cerklje ob Krki Airbase.

The others that are partially military are:

Barracks[edit]

Slovene honor Company at the 2007 Bastille Day Military Parade.

International cooperation[edit]

Slovenia is part of NATO and the European Union. The Slovenian Armed Forces have participated and presently participate in many aspects of both organizations.

Current Mission and/or Operation Country Organization Nr. of personnel
ISAF Afghanistan NATO 34
Joint Enterprise Bosnia and Herzegovina NATO 3
ALTHEA Bosnia and Herzegovina European Union 10
KFOR Kosovo NATO 306
Joint Enterprise Republic of Macedonia NATO 1
Joint Enterprise Serbia NATO 1
EUTM Mali European Union 3
Mare Nostrum Italy / 41
UNIFIL Lebanon United Nations 14
UNTSO Syria United Nations 5
Former Mission Operation Country Organization Nr. of personnel Time
ALBA Operation Sunrise Albania OSCE 21 May–July 1997
UNFICYP / Cyprus United Nations 29 September 1997–June 2001
ALBA Operation Allied Harbour Albania NATO 26 May–July 1999
UNMIK / Kosovo United Nations 1 October 1999–December 2001
OHR / Bosnia and Herzegovina United Nations 1 July 2001–January 2003
 ? Operation Concordia Republic of Macedonia European Union 1 March 2003
Kosovo Force Operation Joint Guardian Kosovo NATO 11 November 2003–May 2004
/ Nato support to Pakistan Pakistan NATO 2 November 2005–January 2006
International military exercises Country Organization Nr. of personnel Time
Cooperative Nugget 1997 Fort Polk, U.S. Partnership for Peace/NATO 1997
Cooperative Adventure Exchange '98 Slovenia NATO 1998
Cooperative Key 2002 2002
Cunning Wassel 2002 2002
Clever Ferret 2003 2003
Elite 2003 2003

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]