After Slovenia joined NATO in 2004, the Alliance worked with neighbourin Allies Italy and Hungary to provide their fighter jets for NATO Air Policing over Slovenia. Since then Italian Eurofighters and Hungarian Gripen, in addition to protecting their own national airspace have been ready for alert launches safeguarding Slovenia’s airspace. NATO’s southern Combined Air Operations Command (CAOC) at Torrejón, Spain controls the 24/7 defensive peacetime mission of Air Policing across all Allies.
The Slovenian Air Force operates a Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) at Ljubljana, which feeds its radar data into NATO’s air and missile defence system and tactical controls alert scrambles in close cooperation with the CAOC at Torrejón and neigbouring CRCs.
Meanwhile the Slovenian Air Force flies their PC-9 single-engine propeller aircraft to conduct national air policing mission. They also employ Bell 412 helicopters for Search and Rescue missions in the country that is dominated by mountains and valleys.
In the airpower domain, Slovenia is also the host for the annual Joint Terminal Attack Controller exercise Adriatic Strike. The traditional event is an important venue to allow JTACs from Allied and Partner nations to train in realistic scenarios with aircraft and helicopters from international participants. This currency training ensures the Alliance can draw on the important Air-Land-Integration capability whenever needed for operations.
The Alliance and Slovenia provided journalists from regional Western Balkans media and international specialized agencies an overview of Slovenian air capabilities with presentation and live-video feeds of Slovenia’s PC-9 light fighter aircraft and the Bell 412 helicopter.
In times of travel and access restrictions due to the pandemic, this is one way of informing the public via the media about how NATO and the Allies work together to provide collective defence and security.