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Service Abroad By High Professional Standards

Szöveg: László Szűcs |  2013. március 11. 9:00

Speaking at a ceremony in the presence of the soldiers serving at the headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Dieter Heidecker, the commander of EUFOR thanked outgoing Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Péter Ernő Siposs for his work on Friday, March 1 in Sarajevo. Another Hungarian soldier, Brig.-Gen. (Eng.) József Szpisják will fill the position in the coming months. (Reporting from the spot!)

Brig.-Gen. Péter Ernő Siposs was said farewell to at a spectacular transfer of authority
ceremony in Camp Butmir, Sarajevo. Over the last one year, the brigadier-general has
served as Chief of Staff of the EUFOR ALTHEA mission. Speaking at the ceremony held
on March 1, COMEUFOR Maj.-Gen. Dieter Heidecker praised the Hungarian general’s
accomplishment, then welcomed the incoming Chief of Staff, Brig.-Gen. (Eng.) József


Brig.-Gen. Siposs – who commenced working as Chief of Staff EUFOR one year ago almost
to the day on February 28, 2012 – delivered a farewell speech in which he pointed out that
first of all, the key to success was the chance to work with many highly professional soldiers
who dedicate themselves to their service abroad. This is not only true of the Hungarians
but also of the soldiers from all 23 EUFOR troop contributing nations. He noted that the
headquarters had been able to develop very good relations with the embassy staffs and other
organizations, which formed the basis for cooperation.


Brig.-Gen. Szipsják stressed that he would do his best in the coming months to continue the
work started by his predecessors. As he said, the EUFOR HQ must continue cooperating with
NATO and the local authorities. He pointed out that his primary task as Chief of Staff is to
provide support to the commander, and asked all EUFOR service members to help him with
this task. At the ceremony, Maj.-Gen. Dieter Heidecker presented Brig.-Gen. Siposs with
an EUFOR medal, and the Austrian ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina also decorated him.
(Austria is the lead nation of the ALTHEA mission.)

After the transfer of authority ceremony held in the presence of the officers serving at the
EUFOR HQ, the outgoing and the incoming chiefs of staffs of EUFOR called a staff meeting
for the Hungarian soldiers serving in Camp Butmir. Brig.-Gen. János Huszár, the Land Forces
Chief of the HDF Joint Force Command stressed the importance of strengthening the image
of Hungarian soldiers as reliable participants in the mission.


Answering our question, Brig.-
Gen. Péter Ernő Siposs told us that he considers it his greatest achievement during the last one
year to have been able to develop a relationship with the soldiers of 23 nations deployed in the
area of operations which carried the EUFOR mission forward. He stressed that the EUFOR
reduced the troop level of its military forces by half as of September 1, 2012 as a result of the
improving security situation which does not call for a military presence similar to the earlier

Gen. Szipsják told us that the chief of staff is responsible for all mission-related work in the
international staff, so he will be doing his best to be able to meet this challenge in the coming


Photos by the author