Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said Lieutenant General Gábor Böröndi, who has been nominated as the next Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, is the right person to upgrade the military’s capabilities from a tactical to an operational level.
Speaking to the media after Böröndi’s hearing before parliament’s defense and law enforcement committee, Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky said both he and the government were expecting a protracted war in Ukraine. The Hungarian government is in favour of a ceasefire and peace, but the country, in a military sense, must be prepared for a protracted conflict on Europe’s eastern border, he added. The Hungarian Armed Forces must be prepared for this, the minister said, adding that in line with the principle of “having the right people in the right place at the right time”, he had proposed that Böröndi lead the military from the tactical to the operational level. The Hungarian Armed Forces, as a member of NATO, must put its new equipment into service, develop new combat procedures as well as a new organisational culture on its way to reaching a new state of combat readiness, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said. The minister thanked Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, who last week was relieved of his duties as Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, for his work, saying he had put the military “on a new path” over the last two years. Meanwhile, he underlined Böröndi’s “outstanding” military career, noting he had served as deputy army commander and most recently had represented Hungary in NATO. This, he said, meant that Böröndi had the deepest and most up-to-date knowledge of and relations with the defense alliance. Szalay-Bobrovniczky also underlined the importance of Hungary’s role given its geographical position and ongoing military upgrade in NATO’s “biggest-ever adaptation process”.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Gábor Böröndi, who was nominated for Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces last week, said at his hearing before parliament’s defense and law enforcement committee that his main aim would be the “mental renewal” of the Armed Forces, as well as setting up a capable, committed force that is “operational within NATO too.” Hungary and Ukraine’s other neighbors are in a “pre-war state”, which should influence the training of its Armed Forces, he said. Hungary’s national army is a well-prepared and well-trained and equipped member of NATO, and the next step is to create a force that is able to exert significant impact on an operational and strategic level, Böröndi said. Voluntary reservists will play an important role in protecting regional strategic points, and cutting off the enemy’s logistical lines, he said. The task requires a flexible approach employing “a flexible unit of local patriots who are protecting their own localities,” he said. Combat training and strategic reconnaissance are key areas, Böröndi said. At the same time, nuclear deterrence must be re-introduced into military education, he said. Logistics must be developed so it can cater for fighting units, he said. Böröndi said he saw missions as a key terrain for assessing the progress in the training of troops. Előd Novák of the opposition Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland) party said that while the aim was to increase the number of troops, the forces had recently relieved of their duties a large number of servicemen as part of a “rejuvenation program”, suggesting that army commander Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi had been relieved of his duties for similar reasons. In response to Novák’s question, Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, who was also present, said that Ruszin-Szendi had been relieved of his duties “due to the Armed Forces proceeding from tactical to operational mode”.