Last week in the Ivan Cankar barracks in Vrhnika, the Director General of the Police Anton Olaj and the Commander of the Slovenian Armed Forces Major General Miha Škerbinc got acquainted with the results of six months of joint action under the new state border protection plan.
The Slovenian Armed Forces and the Police regularly coordinate and check the adequacy of the operational tactical plan and the effectiveness of the work of seconded members to deter illegal migration.
The new mode of operation has shown positive results. They believe that the results are confirmations of the efficiency, adequacy of decisions and a quality action plan. They are convinced of the successful synergy between police and military work and the excellent understanding of the plan at all levels, both at the strategic, operational and tactical levels in the Police and the Slovenian Army. They said they were satisfied with the diligence, professionalism and legality of performing the duties of soldiers and police officers.
The next challenge is to prepare and update plans to counter other modern sources of security threats.
Since 2015, the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Police have been cooperating in the prevention of illegal crossings of the state border and in support of the Police in the prevention of illegal migration, the Slovenian Armed Forces dedicates almost 120 members of the Slovenian Armed Forces every day.
Based on the decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovenian Armed Forces has been continuously cooperating with the Ministry of the Interior, since October 19th, 2015, in resolving the situation related to illegal migration. And it has been cooperating with the Police in the protection of the state border since February 18th, 2016.
At the beginning, the Slovenian Army performed tasks that included cooperation in mixed patrols with the Police in the areas of individual police administrations in the wider protection of the state border. Members of the Slovenian Armed Forces observe, monitor, report and protect police officers during procedures, thus discouraging illegal migration. Since November 2015, they have also been involved in setting up and maintaining temporary technical barriers. And since October 2018 they have been observing the wider area of the state border with the team and drones. From February 24th to May 23rd, 2016, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia granted additional powers to members of the Slovenian Armed Forces in support of resolving the migrant situation, arising from Article 37.a of the Defence Act. During this time, they warned, directed, temporarily restricted movement, and participated in controlling groups and crowds. In addition, the Slovenian Army patrolled the border with helicopters and supplied police helicopters with fuel.
On December 7th, 2018, the President of the Republic of Slovenia and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces Borut Pahor awarded medals of merit in the military or security field to the 1st, 72nd and Logistics Brigades of the Slovenian Armed Forces for outstanding work.
In accordance with the government’s decision, the Slovenian Armed Forces also provided support in resolving the migrant situation to the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Protection and Rescue or Civil Protection from September 16th, 2015 to December 7th, 2017. At that time, members of the Slovenian Armed Forces provided transport, supplied, guarded and arranged reception and accommodation centres, disinfected Civil Protection facilities, prepared and distributed hot meals and drinks, and installed mobile showers.