Service component commanders of the participating countries of the Regional Special Operations Component Command (R-SOCC) recently held discussions at an event organized by the HDF Joint Special Operations Command in Szolnok, Hungary.
In the middle of February this year, the highest-level Special Operations Forces (SOF) representatives from the participating countries of the Regional Special Operations Component Command (R-SOCC) and the Commander of NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) met for the first time in Szolnok.
At the event, Colonel Attila Krezinger, Commander, HDF Joint Special Operations Command welcomed most of the guests as old friends, since the nearly 20 years spent in the profession and the service with international missions have brought for him acquaintances and contacts across several borders.
The participants of this year’s conference – which was summoned with the topic of the development of the R-SOCC that celebrates its fourth anniversary – had to reach agreement and make decisions in a number of topics on a busy agenda. It was stated that despite the changes occurring in the international security environment during last year, the capability development of R-SOCC has been progressing at the scheduled pace, and it is necessary to join forces in order to tackle unforeseen challenges such as making up for the training events cancelled in the Covid period.
The representatives delegated to attend the conference made a decision about the training plan leading to the NATO Special Operations Forces Headquarters and Units Evaluation (SOFEVAL), which is due next year, and finalized the contributions of the nations to the common tasks of the given period.
During the R-SOCC conference – which was also attended by Lieutenant General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi PhD, Chief of the General Staff of the Hungarian Defence Forces – the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Regional Special Operations Component Command project. As Lieutenant General Antonio M. Fletcher put it, the capability development of the R-SOCC has become an example to follow in NATO. These days, several NATO member countries and regions are planning to launch similar projects and seeking opportunities to familiarize themselves with the path of development that the Hungarian Defence Forces have largely completed.
The next significant step towards achieving the Full Operational Capability (FOC) of the R-SOCC will be the March launch of the “SOCC staff” and “SOCC planning” staff officer courses to be co-organized by NATO and the Hungarian Defence Forces in Szolnok. Altogether 40 soldiers – among them Hungarians and soldiers of other nationalities serving in the region – will be attending the weekslong follow-on training, among them SOF operators as well as representatives of other military occupational specialties who may later be integrated into the personnel of the R-SOCC if needed.
Also present at the two-day event were, among others, Lieutenant General Antonio M. Fletcher, Commander, NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ); Brigadier General Philipp Ségur-Cabanac, Commander, Special Operations Forces, Austria; Colonel Ivan Milos, Commander, Special Operations Forces, Croatia; Colonel Pavol Sebik, Deputy Commander, Special Operations Command, Slovakia; and Lieutenant Colonel Matija Jazbec, Commander, Special Operations Forces, Slovenia.