"Let me congratulate all fellow airmen in the Alliance for six decades of conducting a successful mission that keeps us and the airspace above us safe and secure," says Brigadier General Róbert Tóth, Commander of the Slovakian Air Force. "Men and women under my leadership have been proud members of this family for the last 15 years. Our actions are closely tied to NATO's Northern Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, as well as our neighbours, since the Air Policing duty must be a collective effort focused as an enduring mission in peacetime," he added.
I congratulate all fellow airmen in the Alliance for six decades of conducting a successful mission that keeps us and the airspace above us safe and secure
As one of three land-locked Allies in Northern Europe, Slovakia is one of the younger members of NATO's Integrated Air and Missile Defence System; at the time of Slovakia's accession, it had still been called NATO Integrated Air Defence System.
Following thorough preparations and training of Slovakian pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers for NATO Quick Reaction Alert duty, the MiG-29 fighter aircraft at Zvolen Air Base and the air controllers at CRC Zvolen became integrated under Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem, Germany.
The Slovak Air Force MiG-29 fighter aircraft are predominantly scrambled to intercept civilian airliners for example when pilots lose radio communications with civilian Air Traffic Control or declare emergencies.
Before joining NATO, the Slovak Air Force pilots flew quick reaction alert sorties on the MiG-series of fighter aircraft together with their Czech Air Force colleagues over the former state of Czechoslovakia.