By Tech. Sgt. Adam M. Stump, USAF
American Forces Press Service
March 30, 2007 – Slovakia is a key ally in the global war on terror, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here yesterday. Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani participated in a joint news conference with Slovak Lt. Gen. Peter Gajdos, the deputy chief of the General Staff, which highlighted military cooperation between the NATO allies.
Giambastiani thanked the Slovak republic and military for support in Iraq and highlighted the Slovakian role in missions in both Afghanistan and Kosovo.
"As a former NATO and supreme allied commander, this type of performance by military forces within the alliance is important," he said.
The upcoming deployment of Slovakian troops to Afghanistan, recently approved by the country's parliament, will help NATO's International Security Assistance Force, Giambastiani said.
During his visit to Slovakia, the admiral said, he heard from both government and non-government officials that the country is a dedicated party in the North Atlantic alliance.
"We are looking forward to continuing this very close relationship with the Slovak republic," the admiral said.
One of those relationships was noted by Gajdos, who said the Slovaks have a "close cooperative agreement with the Indiana National Guard."
The admiral said the cooperation also extends to deployments, indicating that there will be an upcoming F-16 rotation to Slovakia.
He said he hopes there will be opportunities in the future for the United States and other NATO allies to participate in deployments, citing the Joint Warfare Training Center in Poland. Giambastiani oversaw the center's creation while serving as NATO's supreme allied commander for transformation.
He also complimented the Slovak military's effort to transform.
"Operations to date in transformation of Slovak forces have been excellent and will continue to get better," he said.
Overall, Giambastiani said, the work so far leaves room for the two countries to grow closer.
"Anything is clearly possible in the future," he said.
(Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam M. Stump is assigned to the Joint Staff public affairs office.)
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