Defense Minister Tibor Benkő said Hungary’s evacuation operation in Afghanistan has shown that Hungary’s soldiers are well-trained and reliable in all circumstances.
According to MTI, the minister said Hungary joined the operation in Afghanistan, launched in response to the 9/11 attacks on US soil, in 2003, he noted. The Hungarian contingent fulfilled its tasks “bravely and in a disciplined manner,” he said, and commemorated the seven soldiers who passed away while deployed to Afghanistan. He also thanked the forces for completing the evacuation “in the line of fire bravely and in a well-organized manner”.
Major General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, the commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, said “Hungarian soldiers have written history” in managing an “evacuation operation with unparalleled challenges”. The operative unit tasked with the evacuation set up a base in Uzbekistan to receive the Hungarian aircraft, which had as little as 30 minutes on the tarmac in Kabul, he said. The evacuees had to be arranged in a group during that time “while we were also careful not to allow anyone on the plane who didn’t belong there.” As the Kabul airport had a single entry point in the first days, “Hungarian soldiers looked for alternative, creative ways to get everyone on the aircraft” while complying with security regulations, Ruszin-Szendi said. Hungary has turned its long-time standing as a “respectable member of the alliance” to its advantage, Ruszin-Szendi said. There was no armed conflict between Taliban and Hungarian forces during the operation, he said.