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Jul 2 2021

Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast forges bonds with Allies DURING HANDS-ON EVENT IN HUNGARY

SZCZECIN, Poland – From 28 June to 1 July, Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast (HQ MNC NE) personnel led by Deputy Commander Major General Ulrich Hellebjerg conducted training in Hungary. The four-day event involved NATO Force Integration Unit Hungary (NFIU HUN) and served as a platform to prepare an HQ MNC NE forward-engagement team for a possible real-life deployment.

As an HQ MNC NE element kept at the required readiness, the team is the first responder within a defined area. It is activated on order of the MNC NE Commander and placed on two days' notice to move. The team is placed on high readiness and availability, tailored to the mission and composed of HQ MNC NE permanent personnel. Due to its composition and equipment, the team operates in cooperation with, and relies on, support from the NFIUs and/or other main subordinated units.

The deployment to Hungary was substantial in terms of establishing and practicing operational procedures so that the Headquarters will be ready to employ them in no time if need be. Consequently, both HQ MNC NE and NFIU HUN used this opportunity to train themselves, thus deepening their knowledge, testing protocols and settling into a fixed routine.

The training started with a visit to the Hungarian 25th "Klapka György" Infantry Brigade led by Brigadier General Gábor Lőrincz, one of the most modern military units within the Hungarian Armed Forces. On site, the Headquarters' personnel were thoroughly familiarised with the Brigade's structure and development process as well as with its equipment.

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MG Hellebjerg (DCOM MNC NE) at the Hungarian 25th Infantry Brigade / Photo by CPL Hans-Peter Alzner
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Demonstration of the Hungarian 25th Infantry Brigade's heavy armour / Photo by CPL Hans-Peter Alzner
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MG Hellebjerg (DCOM MNC NE) with service members of the Hungarian 25th Infantry Brigade / Photo by CPL Hans-Peter Alzner

During the deployment, the engagement team had many meetings and talks with representatives of the Hungarian Armed Forces and institutions, all of which contributed to the enhancement of current and future cooperation. Major General Hellebjerg held wide-ranging discussions with Lieutenant General Zoltán Mihócza (Chief of Staff, Hungarian Defence Forces Command) and Major General László Garas (Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Hungarian Defence Forces Command). The generals' attention was focused on the security of Hungary and the region, the Hungarian Armed Forces' development and cooperation within NATO.

The meetings with non-military partners from the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies, the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as the Government Commissioner and the police forces from the Hungarian Fejér County, which is the host of Headquarters Multinational Division Centre (HQ MND-C) and NFIU HUN, were of great benefit, too. Led by Major General Denis Tretinjak, HQ MND-C has been established in Székesfehérvár based on cooperation between Hungary and Croatia. Once operational, it will be integrated into the NATO Force Structure and enhance the collective security of central European countries. The HQ MNC NE team gained a comprehensive overview of how they work and what kind of support they can provide to the Hungarian and Allied forces during both peacetime and crisis. 

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MG Hellebjerg (DCOM MNC NE) and MG Tretinjak (COM MND-C) in front of Headquarters Multinational Division Centre in Székesfehérvár / Photo by CPL Hans-Peter Alzner
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From the right: MG Hellebjerg (DCOM MNC NE), COL Topor (COM NFIU HUN) and MG Tretinjak (COM MND-C) at Headquarters Multinational Division Centre in Székesfehérvár / Photo by CPL Hans-Peter Alzner
Upon conclusion of the training, Major General Hellebjerg expressed his appreciation for Colonel István Topor (Commander NFIU HUN) and his team for their valuable work and the contribution they make to NATO:
I'm very grateful to NFIU HUN. Thanks to you, we had the chance to meet with our Hungarian Allies and discuss many important topics. I'm fully convinced that this training has helped us to strengthen our relations. This close cooperation will allow us to act promptly in case of any future threat, summarised the Corps' Deputy Commander.
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From the left: COL Topor (COM NFIU HUN), MG Hellebjerg (DCOM MNC NE) and Mr Simon (Government Commissioner of the Fejér County) / Photo by CPL Hans-Peter Alzner
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MNC NE delegation during a meeting with LTG Mihócza (COS Hungarian Defence Forces) /  Photo by CPL Hans-Peter Alzner
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MG Hellebjerg (DCOM MNC NE) and MG László Garas (DCOS OPS Hungarian Defence Forces) / Photo by CPL Hans-Peter Alzner

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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