Brunssum, The Netherlands – On Tuesday 31st January, JFC Brunssum hosted the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, Major General Peter Babiar.
Deputy Commander JFC Brunssum, Lieutenant General Luis Lanchares welcomed the General and, during an office call, took the opportunity to thank Slovakia for its contribution in defending the Alliance.
Major General Babiar also participated in a round table discussion with Chief of Staff JFC Brunssum, Lieutenant General Krzysztof Krol and other senior staff members. A broad range of topics vital for the future of the Alliance in JFC Brunssum’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) were discussed, including current Alliance military vigilance activities in Northern Europe, synchronization of operational plans, Command and Control relationships, interoperability of Slovakian and NATO forces as well as national contribution in strengthening NATO’s Eastern flank.
Slovakia is a key player in the protection NATO’s Eastern flank. The country is a key component of NATO’s Air Shielding Mission, which combines Allied Air and Surface-based Air and Missile Defence units from several nations into an Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (IAMD) system under NATO Command and Control, ensuring NATO Allies are better able to safeguard and protect Alliance territory, populations and forces from air and missile threat.
Slovakia also contributes troops to NATO’s multinational enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroup in Latvia. Battlegroup Latvia is one of four original battlegroups created to deter Russia in response to the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. In 2022 after the renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine, four additional multinational battlegroups were established, one of which is hosted by Slovakia.
Finally, as a nation on NATO’s eastern border, Slovakia hosts a NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) to support NATO’s collective defence planning process, and assist with training and joint exercises. Like its sister NFIUs, one of NFIU Slovakia’s most important roles is to facilitate the rapid reinforcement of Slovakia by Allied troops in the event of crisis.
During his visit, Major General Babiar took the opportunity to meet Slovak members of JFCBS staff, and cordially thank them for their contribution to the headquarters and the important security situation affecting the NATO Alliance.