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Hungary is an important bulwark on NATO’s eastern flank

Text: Gábor Kálmánfi | Photo: László Kertész, Captain Tamás Keskeny |  12:01 November 20, 2023

We are grateful to Hungary for allowing one of the eight multinational NATO Forward Land Force Battle Groups (FLF BG) to deploy in its area – said Lieutenant General Nicola Zanelli, Deputy Commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) in an exclusive interview given to defence.hu.


The lieutenant general said that the most important objective of deploying these FLF BGs is to convince our adversaries through them that we are ready to react to any threats and to defend every inch of NATO’s territory if needed.

“Due to its geographical location, Hungary plays an important role on the eastern flank of the Alliance. We are pleased to see that the politicians and military leaders of Hungary lay great emphasis on the multinational Forward Land Force Battle Group, and if the need arises, increase its personnel strength to brigade level. This is important because no one else can immediately react to potential threats and meet them on land. We must deter our adversaries from combat actions, thus preventing the outbreak of a crisis. The Alliance is very grateful to Hungary for allowing one of these battle groups to deploy in its area” – underscored the deputy commander.


Speaking about the multinational countrywide Exercise Adaptive Hussars 23, Lieutenant General Nicola Zanelli thanked General Dr. Gábor Böröndi, Chief of HDF General Staff for having invited the Commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) – who was represented by General Zanelli due to his other engagements – to this large-scale military exercise.

“I understand that this is the first occasion on which the Hungarian Defence Forces are preparing for defence across the full spectrum of their capabilities, and show their force as a deterrent. In the interest of that, they are also cooperating with the civil actors in defence administration, which is a huge effort as the exercise has nationwide scope. From the Alliance’s perspective, this is also essential because should another NATO battle group deploy to the eastern flank of the Alliance – to Hungary, for instance –, the civil authorities were also expected to ensure perfect coordination on their part as well. Once a crisis arises, there will be no time for exchanging ideas, so we need to gain the relevant experiences beforehand. Exercise Adaptive Hussars 2023 is also of key significance in this regard” – underlined the lieutenant general, adding that LANDCOM is responsible in the Alliance for the joint training of land forces and for their timely deployability. For this reason, LANDCOM pays special attention to those countries that host FLF BGs, and comprehensively supports them, based on their requests.