On Wednesday, an open day was held for the international army training and exercise programs Saber Guardian 2017 and Black Swan 2017 in the central Hungarian city of Szolnok. Speaking at the event, President of the Republic of Hungary János Áder said that these war games would contribute to more effective international operations in which Hungary participates in a way that further enhances its prestige.
President Áder said that Hungarian soldiers are training to be able to more effectively carry out four major tasks over the course of the military exercises: protect Hungary’s borders, carry out duties pertaining to the country’s international military commitments such as its NATO membership, participate in international peacekeeping missions as well as disaster management-related tasks.
He also discussed the government’s new military development plan, Zrínyi 2026, which will work to improve the Hungarian military over the course of the next decade. Áder argued that Hungary and its economy are sufficiently strong for the implementation of this new wave of military development, and expressed his belief that the program will bolster Hungarians’ sense of security.
Defence Minister István Simicskó also spoke at Wednesday’s event. Discussing the country’s prominent role in the military exercises, he said that Hungary’s allies had acknowledged the significant strengthening of the Hungarian military’s special operational capabilities in the recent past. Simicskó emphasized the importance of the fact that,
For the first time, Hungarians have been entrusted to lead a multinational force which hitherto has always been led by the US.
Simicskó also said that Hungary’s defence spending would reach 2% of its GDP by 2024. He added that a major element of the Zrínyi 2026 plan is to boost the army’s special ops capabilities.
The Black Swan 2017, which is a special ops exercise of the Saber Guardian series of international exercises, is being organised jointly by the Hungarian Armed Forces, the United States’ Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) and the command of US ground forces stationed in Europe, according to a guide distributed at the event. The exercise began on June 23 and runs until July 26.
Via MTI and Hungary Matters
Images via MTI and Xinhua