Hungary must take charge of regional defense efforts, Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benkő said at an informal press briefing on Tuesday.
“Someone must take the peace and security of the region in their hands,” Benkő said. “Let us be the leading nation.”
Benkő said that the military high school and college in Debrecen has one of the highest levels of cadet education in the region. A member institution of this will start in Nyíregyháza in the autumn. Next year, a military high school and college can be established in Hódmezővásárhely.
Regarding the competence of the Command of the Hungarian Armed Forces, he emphasized the establishment of territorial defense regiments.
He said that the country was divided into seven regions, two of which are currently based in Nyíregyháza and Székesfehérvár. Their goal is to have as many volunteer reserve soldiers as possible and to have a territorial defense squadron in each district.
He also mentioned that the Hungarian Army Health Center, the Budapest Army Hospital, also played a key role in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. Also in the pandemic situation, the military mobile research laboratory used by NATO also started operating in Hungary.
This laboratory has recently studied the composition and applicability of vaccines in cooperation with national institutes. The importance of the military health and epidemiological capability was confirmed by the coronavirus epidemic, as it has been proven that such a virus can also cause huge damage, Benkő said.
The minister also spoke about the Institute of Modernization, which deals with the development of military industry, which includes research, development, and innovation. Although the main responsibility for this is the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Benkő emphasized that the armed forces also needs its development program tailored to the needs of national defense.
Answering a question, he called it important that “a soldier should be a Hungarian from head to toe”, by which he meant that the Hungarian uniform should be a quality Hungarian product to the last button.
“I also want the country not to be in a vulnerable position when it comes to technical equipment. That is why it is important to develop the Hungarian defense industry,” he said.
Title image: Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benkő. (Magyar Hírlap/Róbert Hegedüs)