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Apr 3 2023

Multinational Corps Northeast relinquishes command of NATO Force Integration Unit Slovakia

By NATO Force Integration Unit Slovakia

Being aware of the importance of NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs), which mission is to assist its respective Host Nation in developing the ability to enable and to facilitate the Reception, Staging and Onward movement of NATO Response Force (NRF) and Very High Readiness Joint Task Force elements in order to enhance Alliance responsiveness, Slovakia (SVK) first requested establishment of NFIU on its territory on February 5, 2015. Afterwards we were able to fulfil this commitment on an accelerated timeline, and NFIU SVK was officially activated on September 1, 2016, as an International Military Headquarters, a part of NATO Force Structure, under direct subordination of the Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE). On March 31, 2023, NFIU SVK went under operational control of Headquarters Multinational Division Centre.

Since NFIU SVK was the first IMHQ established on the territory of Slovakia, our first years of existence were not easy due to the need to build the entire knowledge and capabilities structure and ensure its functioning and close cooperation with host nation, so that we could fulfill the given tasks. 

Professional lead, assistance and support provided from our higher HQ (MNC NE), as well as other commands, parts and elements of the NATO community, have definitely facilitated this process. With this support, NFIU SVK has been evaluated as “fully capable” to conduct the designated tasks according NATO standards, on May 17, 2017, which has been confirmed by MNC NE during our last evaluation, in November 2020. 

Not only is the NFIU one of the prime facilitators in bringing the enhanced NRF to the theatre, it also has a significant role in increasing situational awareness - acting as the eyes and ears for NATO on the ground and sharing information with the host nation and higher headquarters.

On March 31, 2023, in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, the operational control of the NATO Force Integration Units Slovakia and Hungary was transferred from Multinational Corps Northeast to Multinational Division Centre © NFIU SVK

Cooperation between MNC NE and NFIU SVK during the last years had been intensive and many training events, conferences, meetings and exercises had been conducted under the lead of the Szczecin headquarters. For example, NFIU SVK, had been 'ALERT readiness stress tested' twice a year with exercise GRIFFIN CALL. MNC NE main exercise GRIFFIN LIGHTING provided valuable insights into the logistical processes that are needed to support the rapid deployment of NATO forces into the eastern flank countries and integrate them with the host nation defense forces. 

Besides that, over the years, we´ve welcomed number of significant visits not just from higher NATO structure, who supported us, but also the highest leadership from the Slovak Ministry of Defence and other partner nations. On regular basis, we hosted visits of Ambassadors, Defense Attachés, other military representatives and public officials, because we believe that cooperation, exchanging best practices and strong relation with our partners is essential. We organized many significant events, and we keep on participating in #WeAreNATO campaign, to increase awareness of NATO, its principles, values and core tasks.

A #WeAreNATO campaign event involving NATO Force Integration Unit Slovakia © NFIU SVK

As NFIU SVK, we realize that our unit represents Slovakia's commitment to collective defense and a visible NATO presence on the territory of Slovakia with the message: "NATO is ready to defend Slovakia against any threat or act of aggression."

Story published by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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Multinational Corps Northeast
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin

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Public Affairs Office
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin