Slovak Republic - Ground Forces
Land forces consist of two mechanized infantry brigades, one with two mechanized battalions (BMP-1), a tank battalion (T-72), and a combined artillery battalion. The other brigade has three mechanized battalions (BMP-2). Each maneuver brigade is or is planned to be task organized with combat support units, such as an artillery battalion, an engineer battalion, a logistics support battalion, and an air defense battery. Other land forces include a separate NBC battalion, engineer battalion, ISTAR company, signal battalion, and command support battalion.
The Ground Forces Headquarters was established by the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No. 3/1993 Coll. on the Establishment of the Army of the Slovak Republic as amended. The Ground Forces Headquarters is located in Trencín.
At the head of the Ground Forces Headquarters there is a Commander of the SR AF Ground Forces. The SR Minister of Defence appoints and dismissed the Commander of the SR AF Ground Forces on the proposal of the Chief of the SR AF General Staff. He is subordinated to the Chief of the SR AF General Staff. The Commander of the SR AF Ground Forces responds for combat and mobilisation readiness and building up of the ground forces, for their modernisation and preparation for defence of the state sovereignty and integrity of the Slovak Republic in accordance with the Acts of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and with military and political documents of the State. The Deputy Commander of the SR AF Ground Forces deputises for the Commander of the SR AF Ground Forces in full extent of his rights and duties.
The SR AF Ground Forces are a main element of the Armed Forces. Their task is:
- To guarantee defence of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Slovak Republic,
- To guarantee or participate in ensuring the protection and defence of political and economic centres, areas and facilities during military and non- military threats to the State,
- To fulfil tasks connected with protection of population,
- To ensure disaster relief after extraordinary events,
- To ensure measures within search and rescue,
- To ensure operational capabilities in peace and humanitarian missions outside the SR territory.
The year 2005 saw extensive restructuring taking place in the largest component of the Slovak Armed Forces – the Ground Forces. On the last day of September 2005, the Bardejov-based reconnaissance battalion and the Štúrovo-based electronic warfare battalion officially terminated their activities. Both garrisons ceased their operation within the Ground Forces. On October 1, 2005, the Ground Forces saw the newly formed ISTAR company starting its operation. The 5th Special Purpose Regiment in Žilina came under the Ground Forces command. To some extent, this unit was obliged to assumesome tasks that used to be executed by the Bardejov-based reconnaissance battalion and by the Štúrovo-based electronic warfare battalion. Though not entirely, as some of the specialised activities were covered by the ISTAR company. Up to that time, G-2, i.e. Department of Land Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare, has had no experience in this area.
Some experts, due to their concerns over the changing social security legislation, considered the possible implications for their families and decided to quit. There were similar developments during the reorganisation scheme of the Jelšava-based artillery brigade and the subsequent establishment of the joint self-propelled artillery unit based in Michalovce, and a rocket launcher unit in Rožnava. On the other hand, the Ground Forces succeeded in meeting their target: the Ground Forces reduced the number of garrisons and saved financial costs that were necessary for maintaining the facilities. Furthermore, the Ground Forces better utilised the existing capacities of other garrisons. They are no longer half empty as they used to be in the past. At the same time, the Ground Forces managed to transform the engineer battalion in the Michalovce garrison into a company.
The first unit of the Slovak Armed Forces tobe capable of functioning in international operations under NATO command outside the borders of Slovakia is the Martin-based Immediate Reaction Battalion. The Martin-based battalion was obliged to demonstrate its ability to successfully participate in international task forces under NATO command. A military exercise, which was part of the affirmation process, took place in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany in December 2005. It showed that the battalion was ready to fulfil its tasks during the planning phase and to conduct real operations. At the end of September 2005, the Ground Forces Command presented NATO with positive proof that both the battalion and the command component conformed to the requirements.
The 2006 Comprehensive Defense Assessment summed up the performance of obligations towards NATO as follows: “In view of its quality and timeliness, the performance of Force Goals is negatively infl uenced by post vacancies, poor English language skills, training restrictions and its quality, and inadequate material and equipment support.” The target troop levels and required equipment due by 1 January 2008 had been achieved by redeploying personnel and transferring communication and information equipment from other units, whose operational readiness was thus lowered.
Slovak NATO Response Force (NRF)
Slovak EU Battle Group
The Slovak Armed Forces contributed to the building of an EU BG with the Czech Republic – CZE-SVK BG EU (on stand-by between 1 July – 31 December 2009) and were ready to be operationally committed under POL-DEU-LAT-LIT-SVK BG EU (on stand-by between 1 January – 30 June 2010). Slovakia’s troop contribution to this EU BattleGroup is an expression of active involvement in furthering the European Defence and Security Policy. The contribution of the Slovak Republic to POL-DEU-LAT-LIT-SVK BG EU marks Slovakia’s second initiati-ve in support of the EU Defence and Security Policy. A total of 347 personnel participated in the EU BG, along with their vehicles and equipment. The EU Battle Groups are not permanent or standing formations. Rather, following the blueprint of the NATO Response Force (NRF), they are formed on a rotational principle, that is to say, NATO member countries coordinate their troop contributions on behalf of the EU. One stand-by phase lasts six months. Over this single rotation period, the EU has two Battle Groups at its disposal.
A battle group has up to 2,000 troops, with land forces making up its principal component. The group is built around a mechanized battalion-size unit, supported by combat support and combat service supportunits. Beside this, depending on the nature and size of mission, it may be reinforced by other operational elements, including, notably, Navy, Air Force, and Special Forces units.
The EU BGs must be equipped and trained so that they are deployable in virtually all climatic regions within the strategic range of 6,000km from Brussels. However, in practice, the EU BGs are truly globally deployable forces which may be dispatched anywhere in the world. The area of their deployment is decided upon by the EU, whose decision must be approved by the EU Council,whereupon the troops are deployable within 10 days’ notice. With regard to the scope of their missions, they are mandated to conduct stabilization and reconstruction operations, security sector reform, conflict prevention, humanitarian operations, evacuation operations and separation of belligerent parties by force.
On Friday, 18 December 2009 was held a ceremony to mark the completion of the Slovak component of POL-DEU-LAT-LIT-SVK BG EU. This stood as the culmination of more than three years of concerted training, combining Polish, German, Latvian, Lithuanian and Slovak troops under the unified command of the European Union. The ceremony took place in the grounds of the 22nd Mechanized Battalion in Michalovce and was attended by Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Baska, Slovak Chief of Defence General Lubomir Bulik,Commander-in-Chief of POL-DEU-LAT-LIT-SVK BG EU. Brig. Gen. Slawomir Wojciechowski, as well as by other MoD representatives, invited guests and, last but not least, roughly 350 soldiers from the EU Battle Group itself.
In his opening speech, the Slovak Defence Minister stated: "I’m convinced that you’ve been most honorably committed to meeting all the tasks and goals set for the successful formation of the EU BG. That being said, we are in a position to declare successfully accomplished those commitments which our country has over the past years adopted as part of the Slovak Government Goals and the EU Battle Group strategy."
The Defence Minister went on to express his conviction that the Polish-led POL-DEU-LAT-LIT-SVK BG EU, scheduled to be on operational stand-by in the first half of 2010, will ‘successfully perform its missions duringthe six-month period, however difficult and demanding they may be.’ Speaking about the readiness of Slovak personnel, Brig. Gen. Slawomir Wojciechowski said: ‘I have co-operated with Slovak soldiers abroad before, and my perception of them has always been that of well-trained professionals. For this reason, I have no doubts that I’ll be satisfied with their performance in the coming months.’
On the issue of military training and personal equipment, Slovak Chief of Defence General Lubomir Bulik said that ‘it is comparable to that of other armies involved in the Battle Group’. In this regard, he highlighted our new uniforms with digital camouflage patterns and a new modular webbing system.
KONSTRUKTA-Defence, a.s., part of the State controlled industrial holding group known as DMD Group, specializes in the design and development of land and air defense weapons systems, ammunition, command and control systems, electronic systems, armament for airborne vehicles and other customized special-purpose superstructures and platforms for both wheeled and tracked vehicles.
KONŠTRUKTA-Defence, a.s. is a successor company of KONŠTRUKTA Trencín, National Enterprise, founded in 1953 in the city of Trencín after a defense division of ŠKODA Plzen, Czech Republic, was moved to Dubnica nad Váhom, a town located in the north-west Slovakia nearby Trencín. Later in 1957 KONŠTRUKTA built a sophisticated testing facility known as the Testing Operation at Lieskovec, which came closer to its aim - to ensure developmental of military equipment projects in its own workplaces and to eliminate travelling of designers to distant places and to ensure the projects without useless over-costs wasted on transport, accommodation and boarding.
In 1959 KONŠTRUKTA established an operation in Brno and later in 1972 in Prague due to the growing inquiry for various defense systems in former Czechoslovakia and the "Eastern Block". KONŠTRUKTA became one of the major R&D organizations in the "Eastern Block" employing over 2 500 people. In the 70s the company got engaged in designing and developing single-purpose machines also for commercial use by rubber, glass, and food-staff industries. Various medical equipment and devices were designed and developed by the company at that period as well.
Most of the projects carried out by the company during the 80s were defense oriented; however, towards the end of the 80s and at the beginning of the 90s the company started to experience an impact of conversion period in defense field that emerged primarily due to the collapse of communist regime in the region which finally resulted into the end of Cold War between the East and the West.
Consequently, the company was forced to downsize and the operations in Brno and Prague separated and became independent from the mother company. In 1993 KONŠTRUKTA Trencín was divided into two independent legal entities with an intention to separate the defense and commercial activities of the company. Thus KONŠTRUKTA-Defence, State Enterprise and KONŠTRUKTA-Industry, State Enterprise came into existence. In 1996 KONŠTRUKTA-Defence, State Enterprise was transformed into a company incorporated.
KONŠTRUKTA-Defence, a.s. is a medium size company that preserves history and traditions of Konštrukta Trencín and nowadays offers to defence applications of the customers for the third millennium innovative design projection, expertise, respectability and integration of the state-of-the-art technologies into defence systems.
ZTS Špeciál had 202 employees as of the year 2002. The background of defence equipment production in Dubnica nad Váhom is dated since 1928 when a contract was signed between SKODA Plant and the Ministry of Defence of the Czechoslovak Republic to build a plant for artillery materiel in the area where the company has its office today. The production started in 1937, first of all, at a tool shop and a gun manufacturing plant. The first outputs included anti-tank guns of 37 mm, model 1937. After the 2nd World War, the product line was extended by civil outputs. The defence equipment in the company reached its maximum performance in the 1980s. In course of its existence, the company changed its name several times and now the defence equipment is produced by the company ZTS-ŠPECIÁL, a.s.
During the second world war the establishment was under the control of Herman Goring Waffenwerke c.o. and produced in addition to the weapons and ammunition and parts of maritime torpedo, aircraft engines and V-2. In 1945 the enterprise was almost completely destroyed when the allied air force bombed the plant.
In the years 1945 to 1948 the enterprise was gradually restored. The first products were the construction of bridges and cranes for rebuilding war-destroyed country. This was followed by the production of dredges and machine tools.
In the period after the year 1957 there was a substantial development of civilian production. From Plzen was moved part of the production facilities and production of aluminium from CKD Praha diesel-electric and electric locomotives. In this period were produced and delivered thousands of tonnes of lines, most of whom work to this day. Among the most significant customers included the Soviet Union, Poland, Iran, Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, from domestic VSŽ Košice. Diesel-electric T669 locomotives manufactured today are used. The company was involved in the production of technological equipment for the first Ms of i. the atomic power plant A1.
In 1970, occurred the cooperation agreements with SAUER-SUNDSTRAND on production by axial hydrostatic converters, which became the basis for the development and production of road and construction machinery. From Martina was to ZTS Dubnica nad Váhom delineated manufacture of hydraulic rýpadiel, produced in the licence of the French firm Poclain.
The production was still an arms production. In its history the plant has produced about 50 types of weapons or repaired, modernised in the number of about 50,000 pieces. Since 1987 there is a systematic decline in weapons production, in particular the cessation of deliveries to the Soviet Union's largest trading partner in the past, the end of production — former tanks and fighting vehicles.
The company was renamed several times during its existence, and currently since 1998 military equipment produced under the banner of ZTS-SPECIALS, a.s. Company is currently in its production program includes the production of the Castle: 155 mm howitzers ZUZANA Samohybnej kanónovej w. 2000 COBRA vežového ensemble, the production of the main and the cannon from the 30-modernization of T-72 tank, 155 mm M2 Moderna, spare parts for the T-72, BVP-1 and BVP-2, 152 mm ShKH ZUZANA 155 mm ShKH DANA,, the repair of military technology, technology transfer, technical assistance, training, training. Since 2003, was the increase in the civilian production. In the civil production program includes the production of the company: impact mobile, intended for recycling and shredder 35t 50t and crushing stone, reinforced concrete for wind power and alternative energy sources, chassis and components for the construction and forestry machines, and other program components for the railway.
11th Mechanised Battalion
The 11th Mechanised Battalion (rapid deployment Battalion, a Battalion of immediate responses) was formed on 01 October 1995 in the city of Martin as a "rapid deployment Battalion". The Battalion was created as the first professional service in the armed forces of the Slovak Republic. Their existence and activities began to create new traditions. In 1997, for the efforts of the battalion and the representation at home and abroad the battalion was honored as the only unit wearing the Green baret in the land force of the army of the Slovak Republic.
In 2000, the battalion was renamed the 'Battalion of Immediate Response". And on 07 February 2001 it was awarded the honorary title of "MASTER" and the character of JOHN FRANCISCIHO IMMEDIATE REACTION BATTALION. The character "the Battalion of immediate reaction" was used in the years 2001-2006. The Battalion of immediate reactions was from 01 January 2003 removed from the subordination of the land force into subordination to the Light Brigade Headquarters Slovakia. The President of the Slovak Republic issued the warrant number 3 of 18 June 2003 for the battle flags of the ' Battalion of immediate response, Martin", and in accordance with the provision of § 7 para. 3 (a). e) Law No. 321/2002 Coll. on the armed forces.
On December 2005 the Battalion of immediate responses passed part of the certification to control the degree of interoperability of a declared entity, IE. the units which the Slovak Republic undertook to allocate the benefit of the NATO Alliance. Battalion has demonstrated in the exercises held in WEST GERMANY with 122 PfBn DU – PADERBORN-MUNSTER, the ability to plan operations in the international environment according to all doctrines, requirements and standards of NATO, and NATO, without territorial restriction.
On 01 October 2006 the "immediate response Battalion" was renamed the "11. mechanized battalion", which directly followed the already established military traditions of the Battalion of immediate responses. Since its establishment it has undertaken training and other tasks for the benefit of the armed forces of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Republic at home and abroad.
Battalion demonstrated within the certification exercises held in the SCF Lešt, achievement of combat capability for the performance of the tasks of the international crisis management by all doctrines, requirements and standards of NATO, and NATO, without territorial restriction.
On the basis of successful certification in 2007 the 11th Mechanised Battalion was inserted into international forces high readiness of NATO – the NRF-10. "NATO rapid response force (NRF), is a highly ready and technologically equipped units designated to deploy on the ground, in the air, at sea, as well as forming part of the special units for possible deployment, the deployment of the rapid, anywhere in the world.
The NRF are able to drive anywhere in the world to perform the full spectrum of operations, including the security evacuation, counter-terrorism actions and to the initial commitment to ensuring the arrival of the main forces. Are ready to activate within 5 days, and able to separately operate for 30 days. From 10 January 2008, the members of the battalion were in a State of readiness for deployment of the NRF-10 anywhere in the world. The State of readiness. "STAND BY" stage of the 11. MAF, up to 30. June 2008.
After the successful completion of the tasks of the NRF were members of the battalion deployed to tasks outside the territory of the Slovak Republic in international crisis management missions: Since July 2008, KFOR-Kosovo; from september 2008 the ISAF-Afghanistan; from september 2008 to UNFICYP-Cyprus; and KFOR-Kosovo from January 2009.
ZTS-OTS, a.s. is a stock company, founded in Dubnica nad Vahom in 1998. Company´s head office is located in Areal ZTS c. 924, Dubnica nad Vahom, Slovakia. ZTS-OTS, a.s. was established as a daughter company of the stock company ZTS Dubnica nad Váhom plus, which history started in 1937. ZTS Dubnica nad Váhom plus, a.s. has represented different production strategies.
Railway strategy covered complex offer of goods and services for Slovak Railways (production of tractive railway vehicles, development and production of components for railway line, general overhauls). Programme of defence (military) equipment was directed on production of T 72, BVP1, BVP2, 152mm SpgH DANA, 155mm SpgH ZUZANA.
ZTS Dubnica nad Váhom plus concentrated also on production of railway vehicles, finishing lines, road and construction machinery, oil production equipment, outputs of engineering metallurgy, equipment for water conservancy works and manufacturing nature. Anchor role of daugher company ZTS-OTS was to provide support of commercial activities to companies within the ZTS group. By separing of these activities form the mother company, an independent stock company ZTS-OTS, a.s. was established in February 11th 1998.
The company engages in this activity in conformance with a permission issued by the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic and with applicable laws and regulations. The company is successful especially in deliveries of spare parts for BVP-1, BVP-2, T-72, rocket launcher RM-70 GRAD and 152 mm SPGH Dana. In former Czechoslovakia the company is presently the sole producer and supplier of hydraulic pipes for these products.
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