On Thursday morning, May 20, members of the 13th Slovenian contingent, who were engaged in the Resolute Support mission, landed in Rome. Following the decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and after the previous joint decision of the Alliance, the Republic of Slovenia hereby terminates its activities in this mission in Afghanistan.
Since the beginning of 2015, deployed members of the Alliance have been training, advising and assisting Afghan security forces and institutions in a mission of decisive support in Afghanistan. The Slovenian Armed Forces participated in the decisive support of the NATO advisory mission based on the government’s decision, which stated, among other things, that “stabilization and support to Afghanistan in taking responsibility for the country’s governance, leadership and development remain among international political and security tasks.”
Earlier, at the request of the UN and the Afghan government, NATO took command of Operation ISAF in August 2003, the first NATO operation outside its territory. It happened in line with the transformation of the 21st Century Threat Management Alliance. The first members of the Slovenian Armed Forces took over the tasks in the ISAF operation in March 2004, under the decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia.
The previous ISAF operation was part of the international community’s comprehensive approach to the situation in Afghanistan and efforts to establish lasting peace and stability in the country. The last, 21st Slovenian Army contingent in the ISAF forces, returned to the homeland on December 25, 2014.
Most members of the Slovenian Armed Forces contributed to peace in Afghanistan in 2011 (a total of 179 in two shifts), and to date, a total of almost 1,400 members of the Slovenian Army have been sent to both operations.
In more than 17 years of activity of members in Afghanistan, the Slovenian Army records the following extraordinary events:
– In July 2005, a Hammer military vehicle carrying four Slovenian members of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan hit a mine near Kabul during a patrol. The soldiers did not suffer any serious injuries, one later had hearing problems, and the vehicle was severely damaged in the explosion.
– In May 2011, a civilian expert, a member of the Slovenian contingent in Afghanistan, was slightly injured in a bomb attack on the headquarters of the group for the reconstruction of the provinces in Herat. She suffered a superficial wound from the detonation, and the fact that she was behind closed doors in the office saved her from serious injuries. A large part of the building was destroyed in the attack.
– In November 2013, Slovenian members of the ISAF mission took part in shooting with Taliban insurgents. When the incident occurred, six of them were on patrol to accompany the Afghan unit they were training. None of the Slovenian soldiers was injured.
– In January 2014, a Slovenian soldier was wounded in the leg while performing tasks. Under the mentorship of members of the Afghan forces, there was a shooting with the opponents. He was treated in a hospital.