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Colorado Army National Guard deploys mountain infantry element to Slovenia for Triglav Star Exercise

By Capt. Ron Bailey | Colorado National Guard | Sept. 27, 2017

CENTENNIAL, Colorado – The Colorado Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry (Mountain) deployed nearly 100 Soldiers to Slovenia, to participate in a multi-national overseas deployment training exercise.

The exercise, dubbed Triglav Star, ran from Sept. 11-23 and consists of company-sized elements from the Colorado Army National Guard and the Slovenian and British armed forces. The training included mountaineering, squad- and platoon-level tactics, and multinational operations. The exercise culminates in a multi-national attack on an objective in the mountains of Triglav, Slovenia.

Through this event, the 1-157 IN (MTN) will contribute to the U.S. Army European Command's strategic operating picture while building relations with our Slovenian partners.

The exercise came about because of the 24-year partnership between the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Colorado National Guard through the National Guard State Partnership Program.

"Because of the enduring partnership between Slovenia and Colorado, Colorado National Guard members regularly take part in Slovenian Armed Forces Exercises," said the adjutant general of Colorado, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Loh. These joint exercises are very successful because we exchange best practices, tactics and techniques, and forge even stronger ties with our state partner."

The SPP promotes the development of long-term partner capacity through relationships with National Guard personnel, the partner country's military personnel and interagency coordination mechanisms. Due to this partnership, military training teams from the Slovenian Armed Forces and the CONG have deployed to Afghanistan six times to train and mentor units of the Afghan National Army, with the goal of a self-sufficient and effective Afghan security establishment. The CONG served side-by-side with Slovenia in its responsibilities as a NATO contributing country in Afghanistan.

The 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry (Mountain) is one of only three Mountain Infantry battalions in the U.S. Army. During October 2016, under the Army's associated units pilot program, the unit officially became a part of the historic 10th Mountain Division, Photos. One of the beneficial advantages of the Colorado National Guard's partnership with Slovenia includes use of training areas near the Slovenian Armed Forces Multinational Center of Excellence for Mountain Warfare and training with experienced Slovenian Soldiers from the 132nd (Mountain) Infantry Regiment.