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Jun 14 2021

NATO Force Integration Unit Slovakia shows readiness during Slovak Shield 21

SZCZECIN, Poland - On 1-24 June, Allies from across the NATO, including Czechia, Hungary, Poland and the United States, participate in the Slovak-led exercise Slovak Shield 21 (Slovenský Štít), which is conducted on regular basis across Slovakia. The principal aim of this year's iteration is to increase the level of training and interoperability between the Slovak Armed Forces and NATO Allies. NATO Force Integration Unit Slovakia (NFIU SVK) has supported the Reception, Staging and Onward Movement (RSOM) of the arriving troops.

On 4-8 June, NFIU SVK deployed their Mobile Liasons Teams in order to facilitate the Allied units' arrival. Through their activities, NFIU SVK together with the Host Nation contributed to the smooth transit of multinational forces to the exercise site. The Mobile Liaison Teams have demonstrated the NFIU SVK constant readiness to support both Slovakia and NATO Allies.

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Slovak Shield 21 inauguration ceremony / Photo by Slovak Armed Forces
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Slovak soldiers during the exercise inauguration ceremony / Photo by Slovak Armed Forces
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National flags of Allies participating in Slovak Shield 21 / Photo by Slovak Armed Forces

The first part of Slovak Shield 21 was conducted in a Command Post Exercise (CPX) format. Executed on 9-12 June, the CPX portion saw the participation of the NFIU, the representatives of the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces and the National Movement Coordination Center. The CPX was focused on planning processes of defensive operations, and hence increased the readiness of national and Allied troops to ensure the collective security across this part of Europe.

So far, I am satisfied with the course of the exercise. Members of the Slovak Armed Forces have maintained a high level of professionalism. At the same time, the exercise brings us a lot of knowledge that will lead to systemic changes to increase our combat and mobilization readiness in response to the still complicated security situation in our area of interest, said General Daniel Zmeko, the Chief of the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces.

On 18-22 June, Slovak and multinational units will be working side-by-side on combined arms ranges and in conducting a live fire exercise, testing every Ally's ability to function as one.

The official start of the exercise saw a great many officials including Bridget Ann Brink (the US Ambassador to Slovakia) and Major General Štefan Kovács (the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces). In his speech, Major General Ivan Pach (the Director of the Exercise and the Commander of the Slovak Land Forces) emphasized the need for joint training activities, which he referred to as an irreplaceable part of building international cooperation in defense and security.

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Allies deploying to Slovak Shield 21 / Photo by Slovak Armed Forces
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A Slovak service member directing road traffic during Allied deployment to Slovak Shield 21 / Photo by Slovak Armed Forces
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Hungarian soldiers preparing for live-fire drills during Slovak Shield / Photo by Slovak Armed Forces
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MG Ivan Pach, Exercise Director and Commander Slovak Land Forces / Photo by Slovak Armed Forces

Story by NATO Force Integration Unit Slovakia via Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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