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Hungarian Soldiers Participating in Saturday’s Rescue Receive Commander’s Recognition

Text: Ministry of Defence | Photo: Szebáld Szakál |  11:08 April 9, 2024

Major General Dr. László Sticz, Commander of EUFOR Operation Althea, recently presented commander’s recognition coins in Camp Butmir, near Sarajevo to soldiers and civilian air traffic controllers participating in the early Saturday life-saving rescue operation. In the rescue operation, 14 Hungarian, two Dutch and two Italian soldiers carried out tasks directly, as well as an Austrian civilian. The two Italian soldiers will receive the commander’s recognition later.


Two German hikers lost their way in Bosnia and Herzegovina and ended up in Montenegro on 5 April. They were rescued from the snow-covered mountain at 2388 metres high at dawn on 6 April. This counts as a record height in the history of Hungarian search and rescue.

The obligatory medical check-up was carried out in Camp Butmir, then the two German citizens were taken to a hospital in Sarajevo for further examination. Both of them have already been discharged from the hospital.

Dr. László Sticz gave thanks for the coordinated rescue operation when handing over the recognition coins.


Captain Gábor Dobos, who participated in the rescue, told us that they carried out an unconventional military rescue operation, which means that the first helicopter did the reconnaissance and the second the rescue as the venue was not suitable for landing.

First Lieutenant Dávid Répási – who was also in the rescue team – said that in the extreme weather conditions, they lifted the hikers on board the helicopter using double winching, thus, they lifted them at the same time. The newest light multi-purpose helicopter of the Hungarian Defence Forces has not had to be used for such a complex task before, added the first lieutenant.

In 2024, the EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina is commanded by Major General Dr. László Sticz from the Hungarian Defence Forces. Hungary also provides helicopter transportation and air evacuation capabilities this year. The success of the rescue action was the result of the coordinated and professional service of EUFOR’s special capabilities, including the Dutch and Italian night reconnaissance, the Hungarian Aviation Detachment with the MEDEVAC team and the Hungarian staff of the EUFOR Medical Centre.

Press release by the Ministry of Defence

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