Hungary will send 12 soldiers to the Sahel, who will carry out reconnaissance work in the African region – said Minister of Defense Tibor Benkő at the meeting of the National Security Committee of the Parliament on Thursday. He added: you can only report details in camera.
At the annual hearing of Tibor Benkő, he said that Hungarian soldiers have to face more and more challenges. He cited hybrid warfare, terrorism, illegal migration and possible new epidemics as examples.
That is why he considers the research of the biological laboratory of the NATO Military Medical Center of Excellence in Budapest and the Medical Center of the Hungarian Armed Forces to be of paramount importance, as they help to prepare for biological and bacteriological weapons.
He emphasized that Hungarian soldiers also took part in Hungarian and international trainings and exercises, although there were fewer of the latter due to the epidemic. About two thousand soldiers take part in missions abroad each year and work in NATO and EU standby positions, the minister informed.
Tibor Benkő also mentioned Hungary’s participation in the operation of European forces assisting the Malian army. He described in detail the increase in the defense budget and force development. He criticized previous military reorganizations, the end result of which he said was “always a reduction in manpower and defense capabilities”.
The Minister of Defense outlined the main elements of the defense and force development program, including the acquisition of military equipment and patriotic defense education. He said more and more institutions are joining the high school system military cadet program.
The force development program is progressing in time, the cyber threat is given priority: equipment has been acquired, therefore the cyber defense academy has been established – said Tibor Benkő at the annual hearing.
Tamás Harangozó, MSZP politician, asked Prime Minister Viktor Orbán about his flight to Rome: did the military planes transport businessmen and civilians in addition to government members, and what percentage did they actually use these planes for defense purposes?
As before, the government delegation is accompanied by businessmen and civilians, but civilians were not taken on private trips by military aircraft.
Tibor Benkő answered the question. He added that 79 per cent of the machines were used for military purposes and 21 per cent for other tasks. In response, Tamás Harangozó laughed, so Tibor Benkő suggested that you go to the ministry and look at the data there.
Ágnes Vadai, DK Vice-Chairman of the Board, did not attend the committee meeting. In this regard, Lajos Kósa of Fidesz said that according to an entry published on his community page, Ágnes Vadai is currently “campaigning and presumably has now cast her vote for Klára Dobrev,” Prime Minister-designate of the Democratic Coalition.
The report of the Minister of Defense was approved by the pro-government representatives of the committee, György László Lukács, the right-wing vice-chairman of the body, and Tamás Harangozó voted no.