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article imageSlovenia becomes only NATO state with female army chief

By AFP     Nov 27, 2018 in World

Slovenia on Tuesday became the only NATO country whose army is headed by a woman with the appointment of Major General Alenka Ermenc as chief of staff.

President Borut Pahor, the country's commander-in-chief, welcomed Ermenc's appointment and said he expected her to start improving the army's current poor state, blamed largely on underfunding.

"Major General Ermenc's appointment was proposed based on her experience as a commander of Slovenian army units, for her contribution for establishing a professional army force and her civil and military education," the government said in a statement.

A Slovenian army brigade earlier this year failed NATO's combat readiness test being assessed as "not combat ready". The note was improved after additional training and new tests were carried out.

Currently serving as the army's deputy-chief of staff, Ermenc, 55, will officially take over the job on Wednesday.

She will replace outgoing Major General Alan Geder, who has been in post since February.

Ermenc, a mother of three, graduated from the Royal College of Defence Studies in London and went on to complete a Master's degree in International Studies at London's King's College University.

She started her military career as a member of the Territorial Forces that played a key role in winning Slovenia's independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

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