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Hummers for the Special Forces

Szöveg: Béla Szabó |  2011. július 27. 11:26

On Monday, July 18, the HDF 34th ‘Bercsényi László’ Special Operations Force (SOF) Battalion received 14 HMMWVs (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles). Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Budapest handed over the vehicles ceremoniously to Minister of Defence Dr. Csaba Hende at the ‘Lt. Ittebei Kiss József’ Helicopter Base, Szolnok.

The US Congress, on April 28 2010, approved a budget of 9.98 million dollars, from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) earmarked for the development of Hungarian special operations capabilities. The Hungarian partners can utilize this amount for the procurement of armored, multifunctional vehicles, night vision equipment, tactical radios and computers, and financing C-IED training courses up to September 30, 2011.

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“Four countries have received this type of support, and one of them was Hungary, which is an ally we can always rely on if things take a bad turn, and the Hungarian Defence Forces have proven their strong commitment to our common cause in Kosovo and in Afghanistan as well" – the U.S. Ambassador said in her festive speech.

Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis also mentioned that in the past twenty years the United States of America had supported the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) in a value of 50 million dollars, appropriated e.g. to the training of hundreds of officers and NCOs at different American military bases located in the U.S. and in Europe.

Following the signature of the contract Dr. Csaba Hende emphasized that this development meant a quantum leap forward for the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF). The SOF Battalion is the best place for the vehicles, weapons, and the equipment received: the troops of the battalion, together with their American colleagues, have already proven their professionalism in several rotations in Afghanistan.

After the formal event, the guests – among them Chief of the MoD Defence Staff Gen. Dr. Tibor Benkő and HDF Joint Force Command (JFC) Commander Maj-Gen. József Kovács – inspected the weapons and the military equipment of the unit and a live fire exercise (LFX) of SOF troops, where the Minister of Defence could also try out the M4 assault rifle.

Photo: Mária Krasznai-Nehrebeczky

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