Hungarians Are the Best Ones to Work WithSzöveg: Anikó Farkas and 1st Lt. Balázs Iványi | 2012. december 8. 17:29
Several Afghan pilots studied together with the Hungarians in the former Soviet Union, and several of their one-time Hungarian schoolmates are participating in their training today. We, the group of journalist and our companions were also enjoying this reflected friendship while on the base. Reporting from Afghanistan.
In spite of the above-mentioned, the 45-year old Afghan major performed quite well, or that is how it seemed to us, outsiders. True, he had already served with the Afghan armed forces for eight years, fighting against the Soviets in those times, and then reenlisted three years ago as a member of the ANA. Our sense of security was further enhanced when we saw that the Hungarian trainers were sitting behind and in front of our Afghan pilot – they give practical advice to the airmen under training after the classroom instruction, and even actively participate in the execution of the tasks if needed.
The helicopter is only a little different from the Mi-24 type that is well-known in Hungary, yet it is not perfectly comfortable. For the one-off passenger, however, the view of Kabul from above and the intact Afghan landscapes seen after leaving the city compensate for the insufficient headroom. The variety of mountainous terrains, deserts and snow-covered lands, and the countryside which is free from built-up areas offer an unparalleled sight. By the end of the flight, you will get used to the presence of Kalashnikovs on both sides of the helicopter, which are watching the potential enemy – and they are there not only for practice but also because they may be needed in real-world action. Fortunately, they have not been used so far, the captain instructing our pilot from the rear seat told us.
The training elements included flying some circuits and practicing different types of landing over a seemingly abandoned base 50 kilometers from Kabul, then flying in trail formation, the two helicopters returned to the base with their passengers aboard, after performing some maneuvers.
This is the place where the Afghan–Hungarian friendship is perhaps the most conspicuous. Several Afghan pilots studied together with the Hungarians in the former Soviet Union, and several of their one-time Hungarian schoolmates are participating in their training today. We, the group of journalist and our companions were also enjoying this reflected friendship while on the base. The Afghans were happy to receive us, and they were happier to pose for the video and photo cameras inside the room and in front of the aircraft together with each other, with their Hungarian instructors and eventually with us too. One of them told us that the Hungarians were the best ones to work with, and with them they see one another as true comrades.
Photos by the author
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