The Commander started his key leader engagement by visiting NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) Slovakia in Bratislava. At first, he had a high-level meeting there with the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic, Mr Marian Majer. The State Secretary informed the Commander about latest achievements and future developments of the Slovak Armed Forces. General Wojciechowski thanked the State Secretary for the successful process of integrating the Slovak NFIU into the NATO structure.
After that, NFIU Slovakia had the chance to introduce their current and future activities. Key effort of the team in Bratislava is the preparation of their upcoming evaluation. Commander MNC NE highlighted the necessity of continuous training activities to keep the skills of NATO troops sharp:
As NATO operational elements, well-trained NFIUs are centred on the country and crucial for credible deterrence and effective integration of NATO troops on the Alliance’s eastern flank.
The next stage of his key leader engagement was a meeting with the Slovak Chief of Defence, General Daniel Zmeko, at the Slovak Ministry of Defence in Bratislava. Both Generals agreed about the importance of tracking today’s challenges and keeping the Alliance safe in the land domain while continuously enhancing NATO Forces’ readiness, interoperability and survivability on the eastern flank of the Alliance.
On the second day of his key leader engagement, the Commander MNC NE met the Deputy Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Gabor Böröndi. The Generals had brilliant talks about NATO activities and bilateral commitments in the region as well as about the necessity of a common operational picture. At the same time, MNC NE Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) Chief Warrant Officer Michael Hamilton, together with his counterparts, the Command Sergeant Major of the Hungarian Armed Forces and the Command Sergeant Major of Multination Division Centre, visited a training of NATO soldiers in Szentendre, north of Budapest.
LTG Wojciechowski also received briefings about the status quo of Multinational Division Centre (MND-C). The political and strategic goal of establishing MND-C was to increase the Central European region’s security and the population’s security perception. The Division is a tactical-level command and control element with the mission to ensure the integration of affiliated NATO units and capabilities into a larger tactical formation. MND-C’s further mission is to be capable of providing command and control in the entire spectrum of land operations in order to contribute to Allied and regional security. The Commander stated:
MND-C is vital for the region; it will increase the security of Central Europe. MND-C is visible proof of NATO’s commitment to Central Europe. They made huge progress, but it is a marathon not a sprint.
The Commander also attended a deep dive into the current situation of NATO Force Integration Unit Hungary. Key point of the talks was the way ahead from the Hungarian perspective. “The Hungarian NFIU operates effectively and efficiently,” the General said, “I am satisfied to see how well they are doing. I highly appreciate how the COM NFIU takes care of his personnel.”
After two intensive days, Commander MNC NE summarized: “I am happy to have had all these brilliant talks and constructive meetings. I am glad to have had the chance to see the involvement, dedication and lots of hard work of our fellow soldiers in Slovakia and Hungary. For me, it is crucial to meet and talk on regular basis. Real insight is best gained through direct interactions.”