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U.S., Slovenian Armed Forces partner in bilateral exercise

U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff L. Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, coins U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Corey March, 555th Aircraft Maintenance Unit production superintendent, during exercise Agile Wyvern at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base, Slovenia, Sept. 9, 2021. While visiting, Harrigian received an Agile Combat Employment tour, conducted a coin recognition ceremony and toured the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Moeder)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, coins U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Corey March, 555th Aircraft Maintenance Unit production superintendent, during exercise Agile Wyvern at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base, Slovenia, Sept. 9, 2021. While visiting, Harrigian received an Agile Combat Employment tour, conducted a coin recognition ceremony and toured the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Moeder)

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U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, performs a gift exchange with Slovenian Armed Forces Col. Janez Gaube, 15th Wing commander, during exercise Agile Wyvern at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base, Slovenia, Sept. 9, 2021. Harrigian surveyed bilateral operations in support of NATO Agile Combat Employment (ACE) and observed the interoperability between U.S. and Slovenian Armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Moeder)

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U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, left poses for a photo with Slovenian Armed Forces BG Roman Urbanč, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, during exercise Agile Wyvern at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base, Slovenia, Sept. 9, 2021. Harrigian surveyed bilateral operations in support of NATO Agile Combat Employment (ACE) and observed the interoperability between U.S. and Slovenian Armed forces while visiting the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Moeder)

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Slovenian Armed Forces BG Roman Urbanč, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, speaks with U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jason E. Bailey, 31st Fighter Wing commander, middle, and U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, left, at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base, Slovenia, Sept. 9, 2021. The bilateral operations and interoperability between U.S. and Slovenian Armed Forces in support of the NATO Agile Combat Employment concept were shown during the visit. The ACE concept is intended to ensure U.S. Air Forces Europe – Air Forces Africa forces are ready for potential threats and contingencies by enabling forces to quickly disperse and continue to deliver air power from locations with varying levels of capacity and support. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Moeder)

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U.S. Air Force Maj. Joseph Basala, 31st Fighter Wing plans and programs chief of agile combat employment, briefs U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jason E. Bailey, 31st Fighter Wing commander, left, U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, middle, and Slovenian Armed Forces BG Roman Urbanč, Deputy Chief of Defense, on the operations of exercise Agile Wyvern at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base, Slovenia, Sept. 9, 2021. The bilateral operations and interoperability between U.S. and Slovenian Armed Forces in support of the NATO Agile Combat Employment concept were shown during the visit. The ACE concept is intended to ensure U.S. Air Forces Europe – Air Forces Africa forces are ready for potential threats and contingencies by enabling forces to quickly disperse and continue to deliver air power from locations with varying levels of capacity and support. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brooke Moeder)

CERKLJE OB KRKI AIR BASE, Slovenia --

U.S. Air Force and Slovenian Armed Forces leaders met to discuss bilateral operations and interoperability during a visit at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base, Slovenia, Sept. 9.

Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, and Brig. Gen. Jason E. Bailey, commander, 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy, met with BG Roman Urbanč, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, and SAF Col. Janez Gaube, 15th Wing commander at Cerklje ob Krki AB. They discussed the importance of a strong U.S.-Slovenian partnership for Agile Combat Employment, an operating concept intended to ensure USAFE-AFAFRICA forces are prepared to respond to potential threats by enabling forces to quickly disperse and deliver airpower from remote or austere locations.

“Strong relationships with our European partners are vital to deterring threats and defending our common interests,” Harrigian said. “We’re united by a shared vision of security and stability in the region, and we continually build upon existing partnerships and develop new ones to achieve that goal.”

The visit coincided with the last day of Agile Wyvern, an ACE exercise in Slovenia. Airmen, F-16s and support equipment from the 31st FW were involved in the exercise.

“The success of Agile Combat Employment rests on working closely with our NATO allies and partners,” Bailey said. “It is a fundamental element of our security cooperation efforts, such as key leader engagements, subject matter expert exchanges, and exercises like Agile Wyvern which we conducted with our joint and Slovenian Armed Forces partners.”

During Agile Wyvern, U.S. and Slovenian troops conducted ACE training by rapidly dispersing F-16s from Aviano to Cerklje, and deploying tactical command and control assets and support personnel and equipment to operate from another location. The exercise was not only an opportunity for U.S. and Slovenian forces to train side-by-side, but was also the capstone event for the 31st FW to achieve ACE initial operational capability. ACE is intended to improve USAFE-AFAFRICA’s ability to deter, defend and win across the spectrum of conflict.

“Our Airmen benefit greatly from working alongside Slovenian forces,” Harrigian said. “These bilateral training exercises enhance our interoperability and help us maintain joint readiness, making us all better.”