By 1Lt. Kristoffer Egeberg
First published in
SFOR Informer#107, February 21,
Okucani - The Hungarian Engineer Contingent (HEC)
is the only Hungarian SFOR military unit. Based in Okucani (Croatia),
the Engineers have carried out projects all over the Theatre since
their arrival 16th of January 1996. Now they celebrate five years
of construction in BiH.
And a considerable amount of work they have done. Over 360 projects
carried out in all, including 88 projects during IFOR. 30 bridges
with a total length of 2100 metres have been launched. Seven bridges
have been de-launched. 32.4 kilometres road have been built and
repaired, while 65 kilometres railway have been mended. The Engineers
have mine-cleared more than 200 000 square metres and conducted
2210 diving operations. Among other construction works are 1800
square metres of parking lots, 27 helicopter landing sites, clearance
of 2600 square metres of riverbeds, and 250 metres of sewage system.
To mark their accomplishments during the past five years the HEC
invited Hungary's Ambassadors in BiH and Croatia Mr. Kalman Kocsis
and Mr. Gyorgy Csoti. Also Chief of the Hungarian Joint General
Staff General Lajos Fodor, Chief of the Hungarian Army Staff Maj.
General Ferenc Gyorossy, SFOR ACOS Support Brig. General Claudio
Sampaolo, all previous HEC commanders, and other distinguished
guests from SFOR and Hungary. But the focus was of course on the
hosts, the HEC.
forces of the Contingent have been making a name and prestige
for themselves over the last five years. It's shown activity in
the peacekeeping mission has been instrumental in forming a positive
image about Hungarian Defence Forces, Hungarian soldiers abroad,
and proved that the Hungarian Defence Forces are ready and have
the ability to participate in international operations" said
Since Hungary joined NATO in 1999, this country therefore served
in SFOR first as a Partnership for Peace (PfP) country, and then
as a full NATO member.
Brig. General Sampaolo brought with him greetings from COMSFOR
and stated that the Hungarian Engineers should be proud of their
"COMSFOR and I are fully aware of the contributions you make
towards the success of the SFOR mission. Contributions and commitments
you have been performing in such an outstanding fashion for five
years", he said.
After lunch with the engineers, the guests were shown around the
camp, visiting the different offices and workshops.
The Hungarian engineer contingent counts at present 205 personnel,
and is made up of HQ, HQ coy, Floating Bridge coy, Road &
Bridge coy, and Logistics coy. They are directly under the command
of SFOR HQ Engineer Branch, and are tasked with all types of engineering-works
throughout the Theatre.
Nations of SFOR: Hungary