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Szöveg: Capt. Zoltán Tószegi |  2012. január 21. 6:02

After a seven-hour flight, on January 12 the fifth rotation of the HDF Air Mentor Team (AMT-5) arrived at the HDF 86th Szolnok Helicopter Base, returning from Afghanistan. The 12-man team – which includes four flight crewmembers, six ground crewmembers, a property book and a planning NCO – deployed in Kabul on August 23 last year to carry on the work started by their predecessors 18 months ago: that is, to mentor the attack helicopter pilots of the Afghan Air Force, within a training program that includes operational sorties as an integral part as well.

Some of the instructors were able to build on the lessons they learnt earlier, as several members of the Hungarian contingent have already been on similar missions abroad. One among them is the commander, Lt.-Col. Zoltán Rolkó, who can use the experience he gained while in charge of the AMT-3 rotation.

He told us that the Afghans highly appreciate the just returned Hungarian troops’ commitment. Apart from the lessons already learnt, this trust also promotes high-level, effective cooperation. In comparison with the previous rotations, they carry out more operational sorties and the mentors are more actively involved in the live missions. The main proof of professional competence is the fact that the Hungarians have earned recognition from the NATO troops as well as the Afghan pilots.

Having done a good job, the AMT-5 returned to Hungary with a Danish airlift, landing in Copenhagen en route. Family members, colleagues and friends welcomed the contingent on the tarmac of Szolnok. After the joyful moments, in the next few days the team members need to go through medical and psychological post-deployment screenings. Following some days of well-earned paid leave after the official welcome home ceremony, the lessons learned on the mission will be analyzed and utilized.

This process has already started before they left for home, since the main task over the last two weeks was to provide the members of the sixth rotation with all the assistance they need to ensure the smooth continuation of the mentoring activity. The staff of the AMT-5 has fully accomplished this task as well.


 Photo: S/Sgt. András Fodor