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Sep 21 2021

Commander enhances regional partnerships in Hungary and Slovakia

SZCZECIN, Poland - As part of his battlefield circulation, LTG Sławomir Wojciechowski, Commander Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE), visited Hungary and Slovakia. Undertaken on 6-8 September, the tour served as a means to forge close bonds between the Corps and NATO Allies across the central European region.

The visit started in Bratislava, Slovakia, where LTG Wojciechowski met with the key leaders of the Slovak Armed Forces. Upon his talks with GEN Daniel Zmeko (Slovakia's Chief of Defence), the MNC NE Commander emphasized the value of the Corps and Slovak collaboration. "By intensifying our efforts, we will continue to improve security across the most sensitive areas of NATO's Northeast," the Corps Commander said.

During a brief ceremony held on the occasion of the visit, GEN Zmeko presented LTG Wojciechowski with the Commemorative Cross of the Chief of the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces in recognition of his contributions to enhancing military cooperation throughout the Baltic and central European region.

While in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, LTG Wojciechowski held bilateral discussions with LTG Zoltán Mihócza (Chief of Staff, Hungarian Defence Forces Command). The Generals discussed ways of strengthening ties within Multinational Corps Northeast and NATO. "It is vital that we foster our cooperation and exchange best practices whenever possible," LTG Wojciechowski said. Additionally, the Corps Commander emphasized the importance of regional perspectives in establishing military frameworks:
What happens across the Baltic and central European region should not be seen in isolation of one another. Together, we are better prepared to maintain NATO's deterrence and defence, LTG Wojciechowski concluded.

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GEN Zmeko (CHOD SVK) and LTG Wojciechowski (COM MNC NE) at HQ General Staff of SVK Armed Forces, Bratislava, Slovakia / Photo by Marta Karpińska
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LTG Wojciechowski (COM MNC NE) and LTG Mihócza (COS Hungarian Defence Forces Command) hold talks in Székesfehérvár, Hungary / Photo by Marta Karpińska

In Hungary, the Corps Commander appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Croatian Army MG Denis Tretinjak (Commander Multinational Division Centre). They both emphasized the necessity of promoting future cooperation between the two commands and confirmed the paramount importance of expanding regional partnerships across the Alliance. "The Central European area is crucial to the collective security of NATO's Northeast," LTG Wojciechowski said.

Headquartered in Székesfehérvár, Multinational Division Centre is built upon the Croatian, Hungarian and Slovak framework. Once operational, it will be integrated into the NATO Force Structure reinforcing the Alliance's readiness and defence capabilities in central Europe.

"The Division is a new chapter," the Corps Commander stated. At the same time, LTG Wojciechowski expressed his certainty that the Székesfehérvár-based command will work in concert with NATO Force Integration Unit Hungary and Nato Force Integration Unit Slovakia. "The establishment of the Division is another visible proof of the Allied commitment to central Europe," LTG Wojciechowski concluded.

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LTG Wojciechowski (COM MNC NE) and LTG Mihócza (COS Hungarian Defence Forces Command), Székesfehérvár, Hungary / Photo by Marta Karpińska
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LTG Wojciechowski (COM MNC NE) and MG Tretinjak (COM MND-C) in Székesfehérvár, Hungary / Photo by Marta Karpińska
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Headquarters Multinational Division Centre's crest / Photo by Marta Karpińska

LTG Wojciechowski's battlefield circulation culminated with the 5th anniversary celebrations in honour of NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs) Hungary and Slovakia. Joined by civilian and military officials, the NFIUs staff members celebrated their achievements throughout the past five years of service to the Alliance. Alongside NFIUs in the Baltic States and Poland, NATO Force Integration Units Hungary and Slovakia are the main link between their host nations' defence forces and all Allied troops — facilitating deployments and providing planning and exercise coordination. On the very occasion, LTG Wojciechowski spoke about the significance of national perspectives which NFIUs bring to notice. "The regional approaches and mindsets are imperative for effective deterrence and defense," emphasized LTG Wojciechowski, and summarized by saying:

Your presence and activity have proved, time and time again, NATO Force Integration Units are effective force multipliers, making us more prepared and more resilient. For me as the Corps Commander, NFIUs are tested enablers which translate actions into readiness.
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5th anniversary of NATO Force Integration Unit Slovakia / Photo by Marta Karpińska
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5th anniversary of NATO Force Integration Unit Hungary / Photo by Marta Karpińska
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5th anniversary of NATO Force Integration Unit Slovakia / Photo by Marta Karpińska
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LTG Wojciechowski addresses the NFIU HUN staff members during the unit's 5th anniversary, Székesfehérvár, Hungary / Photo by Marta Karpińska

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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