The Defense Minister has revealed how Hungary has sent a letter signed jointly with Croatia to NATO’s secretary general informing Jens Stoltenberg about plans to establish a Multinational Division Command for Central Europe in Hungary.
Following a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels, Minister Tibor Benkő said the new command would give Hungary a decisive role in guaranteeing security in the region. He added that when integrated with NATO’s command structure, it would also enhance capabilities.
The Minister added that Hungary and Croatia also signed a letter of understanding together with Slovakia and Slovenia on setting up a Regional Special Operations Component Command (R-SOCC) in central Hungary. Headquartered in Szolnok, R-SOCC will be tasked with training the four NATO countries’ special operations troops. Austria, which is not member of NATO, has already indicated its intention to join R-SOCC’s work, he said.
Minister Benkő also said that he had held talks with his German counterpart on the sidelines of the meeting. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer praised Hungary for its defense and military reform program which she said could mandate the country’s army to become a leading force in central Europe.
Speaking about Hungary’s contributions to NATO missions, Minister Benkő noted that the country has increased its number of troops serving in Kosovo from 1,000 to 1,200 and is planning further increases. This brings the number of Hungarian troops serving in foreign peacekeeping missions each year to 2,200-2,400.
Finally, Minister Benkő discussed the establishment of a military training center for countering cyber-attacks in Szentendre near Budapest. Hungary has also decided to join the Helsinki-based European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, he concluded.
Photo credit: lokal.hu