Armed forces to offer more predictable career, says chief of staff
Budapest, December 30 (MTI) – Hungary’s armed forces will offer a more predictable career and higher salaries from next year, Tibor Benko, the chief of staff, told MTI in an interview.
The recent global political developments, including the conflict in Ukraine and the expansion of the Islamic State, have demonstrated how important it is for a country to be able to defend itself. It follows that the military technology required for defence and the competitive remuneration of soldiers should be guaranteed, he said.
In the second half of 2015, salaries will be raised by an average 30 percent in the armed forces, Benko said.
At present, 720 Hungarian soldiers are serving in missions abroad and another 120 are being stationed in Hungary as a reserve for the EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said.
In peacekeeping, Hungary continues to give priority to the Balkans, beefing up its contingent in the Kosovo Force (KFOR) by 120 soldiers this year, the chief of staff said.
From January next year, on over 100 Hungarians will participate in a supporting and training mission in Afghanistan, Benko said.
From September to December, Hungarian Gripen jet fighters will take part in the policing of the Baltic airspace, he said.
In 2014 Hungarian soldiers were involved in military exercises and training in Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Germany and Norway, Benko said, adding that they would participate in several multinational military exercises in 2015, too.
Hungary and its armed forces should strive for fostering good-neighbourly ties with Ukraine. Amidst the current circumstances, however, it seems inconceivable for Ukraine to join NATO in the near future, Hungary’s chief of staff said.