Czechs help their Hungarian counterparts by offering logistical support to their border patrol

Autor: Nuala Casey, Oldrich Holecek

"The Czech Republic was the first country to offer concrete assistance," the Hungarian Minister of Defence Istvan Simicsko told his Czech counterpart, Martin Stropnicky, at talks in Brussels on 8th October. "Only a real friend will help when trouble looms. The Czech Republic quickly understood our problems and the threat to our values," added Minister Simicsko.

"I understand that each country should, first and foremost, protect its own border. However, in this case, it is a border in the Schengen area and, therefore, I believe that it is appropriate here to help the Hungarians," said Minister Stropnicky after talks with the Hungarian delegation.

A group of 21 soldiers from the Olomouc and Bechyne Engineer Battalions arrived at the Hodmezővasarhely garrison in southern Hungary on 15th October. Their 68 pieces of equipment composed of five heavy eight-wheel TATRA T-815 terrain trucks, one TATRA T-815 MLF container transporter, one JCB 4CX multi-purpose earthwork heavy machine with drilling set, one TATRA T-815 6x6 ASKDZ mobile maintenance shop, and ten PK-60 field kitchens, each capable of producing meals for up to 150 people.

The main task of this Czech expedition, named Exercise Balaton 2015, is to help the Hungarian military with the logistics of managing the protection of their southern borders with Serbia and Croatia, although Czech soldiers do not work directly on the border. The Czechs have been training their colleagues to cook in the PK-60 kitchens, as well as transporting materials and helping to maintain the local road infrastructure. The exercise will conclude in mid-December.

October 27, 2015