A total of 55 members of the military police along with their colleagues from the Czech Republic and employees of the Slovak Interior Ministry’s Office for the Protection of Constitutional Officials and Diplomatic Missions are undergoing training on how to protect VIPs. The exercises are taking place at the training centre in Lešť in Banská Bystrica region, the TASR newswire learnt on April 7.
The ‘Bodyguard’ exercise is part of Slovakia's preparations for its upcoming presidency of the EU.
“Our military police will be able to tap into the experience gained from this exercise not only during the presidency, but also in relation to ongoing international crisis management and various foreign missions,” said Defence Ministry State Secretary Marián Saloň at a briefing in Lešť on the same day.
Military police chief Milan Hamár underlined that current developments in Europe clearly indicate the importance of such exercises.
“In addition, the military police have been equipped with new weapons and technologies, and so we need to practice their deployment,” stated Hamar, as quoted by TASR.
Members of the press were shown a video presentation of the past few days of the exercise. This included a demonstrations of how officers would proceed when protecting a VIP under physical attack, when dealing with a sniper and when faced with a more comprehensive attack.
The Defence Ministry has also reported that US military aircraft will fly over Slovakia during April and May as part of a planned and coordinated exercise by Slovakia‘s NATO partners, TASR learnt on same day.
The USA has been granted permission to fly Hercules C-130 aircraft over Slovakia at low altitudes. The flights, which will take place in the north and centre of Slovakia, will be monitored.
„Collective security in central Europe is crucial,“ said Defence Ministry State Secretary Ivan Máčovský, as quoted by TASR. “Mutual coordination of procedures as well as familiarity with terrain allow for the effective deployment of allied units in a crisis situation, whether it be of a military or non-military character. That’s why these training activities over NATO member states are very commonplace.”
8. Apr 2016 at 7:06 | Compiled by Spectator staff