Defence Minister Tibor Benkő recently received General Richard D. Clarke, Commanding General, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) on a courtesy call. The meeting took place in the framework of the conference “Resistance and Resilience Concept” in Stefánia Palace, Budapest on Thursday, 18 November.
Speaking at the meeting, Tibor Benkő said that the contributions to the security of the Transatlantic region and to the strengthening of NATO’s cohesion are priorities for Hungary.
During the Thursday meeting, the two sides agreed that the rapidly changing security policy environment necessitates continuing close military cooperation between the USA and Hungary. Cooperation in special operations and the development of special forces is a key area, which the United States and Hungary equally consider a cornerstone of bilateral defence cooperation. In the framework of operational cooperation between our countries, our soldiers have served shoulder to shoulder in the Afghanistan mission and are still executing their tasks in NATO-led and coalition operations, among others in areas of operation in the Western Balkans and Iraq, added Tibor Benkő.
General Richard D. Clarke pointed out that the regular joint exercises are indispensable and contribute a lot to the training of our Special Forces. The general said that the joint training had been successful, which also means that NATO’s response capability in the region is now significantly stronger. These collective exercises do not only generate a standardized Special Forces capability but also enhance NATO’s capability of responding to threats from any directions.
Speaking about the execution of the tasks of foreign missions, the minister of defence said that the Hungarian Defence Forces highly appreciated the support from the US military, the sharing of lessons learned and the training programs which had proven to be indispensable for performing the tasks of the new Hungarian engagement in the TAKUBA mission.
According to the Commanding General of USSOCOM, the establishment of the Szolnok-based Regional Special Operations Component Command (R-SOCC) as a command post contributes to the creation and maintenance of a regional and allied security environment.