Military exercise Defender Europe DE21 under way until July

Ljubljana – The Slovenian Armed Forces are taking part in the international military exercise Defender Europe DE21, which is under way between 1 May and 5 July. Slovenian soldiers are training alongside members of 26 ally and partner countries, the Defence Ministry said on Monday.

The purpose of the exercise is to divert potential threats and prepare the Slovenian army for its supporting role within NATO, said the head of the sector for training at the Force Command of the Slovenian army, Colonel Igor Šepec.

During the exercise, the concept of the Slovenian army acting as part of NATO’s combat forces is to be put to a test given that some units of the Slovenian army are active in NATO missions outside the country.

Šepec said the key tasks were to set up an efficient communication system, key logistic elements, safe and coordinated moves and efficient use of training grounds.

By taking active part in joint exercises and training, the Slovenian army is responding to modern security risks and strengthening its own safety, he said.

The Defender Europe DE21 exercise will be carried out in five phases and 28,000 participants from 27 countries will take part. While a part of the exercise will take place in Slovenia, some units of the Slovenian army will train abroad.

In Slovenia, the exercises Astral Knight, Adriatic Strike and Immediate Response will be held. They will mostly take place in the training and shooting grounds of the Slovenian army, but also at Brnik airport, the Koper port and on the motorway.

The largest exercise will be held in the main training ground in Poček between 10 and 28 May.

During the exercises, convoys of army vehicles can be expected on the roads, most notably between 22 May and 5 July, when 460 army vehicles will move between Obrežje and Postojna, and Postojna and Koper.