Poček Military Training Ground, Slovenia – Senior political and military leaders from the U.S. and Slovenia came together today to witness live-fire training events as part of Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 21 distinguished visitor day.
Hosted by Slovenian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Miha Škerbinc, the day’s events included military training demonstrations with narration as the exercises took place. Attendees included Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Janša, Minister of Defense Matej Tonin, U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander U.S. Air Force General Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Embassy Ljubljana Chargé d’ Affaires Susan Falatko, and U.S. Army Europe and Africa Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard.
Both Tonin and Wolters provided remarks in front of approximately twenty journalists who covered the training event, commenting on the benefits of training.
“We are very, very proud of the fact that we challenge ourselves in all of these exercises,” Wolters said.
“What we attempt to do is improve our strategic alignment all the way from the strategic level down to the operational level,” he added emphasizing the exercises contribute to successful deterrence.
The demonstrations were conducted by the Slovenian 15th Wing and Infantry Company of the 1st Brigade, 10th Infantry Regiment based in and around Ljubljana.
Wolters shared his appreciation by thanking Slovenia for its contributions to peace and security.
“We can comfortably say that when we take a look at this exercise and we take a look at the security that exists in this nation, in this region, and in Europe. It is powerful.”
Slovenia is a host country of Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 21 and its linked exercise Immediate Response 21. Immediate Response 21 occurs during DEFENDER-Europe 21 and focuses on building operational readiness and interoperability with NATO Allies and partners across seven countries in the Balkans region and in Greece. Additionally, more than 900 Slovenian forces are participating in various parts of DEFENDER-Europe 21, both in Slovenia and in other training locations.
DEFENDER-Europe 21 is a large-scale U.S. Army-led exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between the U.S., NATO allies and partner militaries. This year, more than 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations will conduct nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in more than a dozen countries from the Baltics to the strategically important Balkans and Black Sea Region.
For more information about DEFENDER-Europe 21, visit the DE21 homepage.