Brunssum, the Netherlands – The Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), General Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta, visited NATO’s Eastern flank in Slovakia from 5th to 6th September 2022.
I am proud of the solidarity and commitment of all our Allies during this sensitive time
During his visit, General Miglietta first met with General Daniel Zmeko, Chief of Defence, with whom he shared views and concerns regarding the situation on NATO’s Eastern flank. They discussed readiness and interoperability of Slovakian and NATO forces, as well as deterrence and defence. General Miglietta took the opportunity to thank General Zmeko for his commitments to enhancing the resilience of the Alliance.
Speaking next with Marian Majer, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic, General Miglietta said, “Since I took Command on the 3rd of June, I have started to visit countries along NATO's Eastern border, and I am proud of the solidarity and commitment of all our Allies during this sensitive time. Our land forces have never been stronger, more adaptable and more capable in response to outside threats.”
A NATO member since 1993, NATO’s presence in Slovakia is significant.
Firstly and most significantly, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the extraordinary NATO Summit in Brussels on 24th March, 2022, Allied Heads of State and Government agreed to establish four new multinational battlegroups in Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. Today, Multinational Battlegroup Slovakia already consists of a thousand soldiers from Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States – and this is likely to increase in future.
Also in Slovakia is an Air and Missile Defence detachment, formed of a further 500 troops, from Germany, the Netherlands and the United States as part of NATO’s Air Shielding mission. They operate anti-missile defence assets, such as the Patriot missile defence system in close coordination with NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS), and provide teams to the Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) in Zvolen.
Finally, along with seven other countries in the region, Slovakia hosts a long-established NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU). Its role is to facilitate a rapid deployment of additional forces in the region if needed. NFIUs work closely with the Host Nation to identify logistical networks, transportation nodes and supporting infrastructure that would enable a NATO high-readiness force to deploy to and operate in an assigned region as quickly as possible.
The combination of these three powerful NATO presences means that NATO can support Slovakia in times of crisis and rapidly reinforce the country to ensure that every inch of its territory is protected by an Alliance of thirty nations.
Slovakia’s commitment to the protection of NATO’s Eastern flank also includes a contribution of over 150 soldiers to NATO’s Multinational Battlegroup in Latvia.