Ohio National Guard senior leaders conduct annual visit to Hungary to plan future focus, goals for ongoing partnership
Story by Senior Airman Amber Mullen, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
BUDAPEST, Hungary (09/16/19)
A contingent of Ohio National Guard senior leaders visited Sept. 7-10 to hold discussions and mark another successful training year in a quarter-century partnership with the Hungarian Defence Forces.
This year marked the first time Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr. represented Ohio as the adjutant general, since his appointment in January. During the visit, Harris met with U.S. Embassy officials and Hungarian Defence Forces senior military leaders to discuss the Ohio-Hungary State Partnership Program engagements in the 2019 training year, and collaborate on ways to shape and improve these events in the future.
“This visit was important because it focused on our military-to-military engagements,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Sheldon Chambliss, the incoming state command sergeant major for the Ohio Army National Guard. “We have had the opportunity to continue to develop a true partnership based on reciprocity, mutual benefit and respect.”
Harris met with Lt. Gen. Zoltán Mihócza, chief of staff of the Hungarian Defence Forces; Hungarian Minister of Defence Tibor Benkó; Brig. Gen. Gábor Horváth, HDF J7; Brig. Gen. István Baráth, commander of the HDF Military Augmentation, Preparation and Training Command (MAPT); Brig. Gen. Zoltan Apáti, deputy commander of MAPT; Brig. Gen. Tibor Bozó, commandant of the HDF Noncommissioned Officer Academy; and several other significant Hungarian senior military leaders.
In addition to Harris meeting with key HDF senior leaders, two Ohio National Guard Soldiers conducted a noncommissioned officer (NCO) leadership seminar for Hungarian Defence Forces soldiers attending the pilot NCO development course at the HDF NCO Academy in Szentendre, Hungary.
“The opportunity to build relationships here at the NCO Academy with Hungary’s army and ours, through trading best practices on how we grow and learn as organizations, is what strengthens our partnership,” said Col. Daniel J. Shank, Ohio assistant adjutant general for Army.
Accompanying the Ohio National Guard contingent were two civilians from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and Ohio Task Force 1, who conducted an emergency management workshop for Hungarian emergency response personnel. The course highlighted how military personnel and civilian agencies work together to respond to an emergency or disaster situation.
Every year, Ohio and Hungary conduct about 35 State Partnership Program exchanges that take place in either Ohio or Hungary. In 2019, 500 Ohio National Guard Airmen and Soldiers participated in engagements alongside their Hungarian partners.
“Hungary is a tremendous partner,” Chambliss said. “They are an outstanding ally to the United States military and have been since 1993.”
For a quarter of a century, Ohio and Hungary have partnered together to build forces for the future and enhance interoperability. Through the partnership, Ohio and Hungary are enabled to continue conducting joint training, building cultural understanding and collaborating to achieve security cooperation goals.