They Have Earned Esteem
The start of the homecoming ceremony held at Kecskemét air base marked the official end of the deployment of the Hungarian 39th detachment of the Baltic Air Policing mission in Lithuania. As Tamás Vargha said, throughout the mission conducted over the last four months, the Hungarian Defence Forces had been able to control and guard the airspace of the Baltic countries and Slovenia simultaneously, while fully performing their duties in Hungary as well. During the execution of air policing task undertaken in 2012, Hungary, as the 17th nation, was guarding the airspace of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The more than 80-strong Hungarian contingent – made up of pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians and logisticians – carried out its duties with four JAS–39 Gripen fighter jets. “We flew a total of 430 hours, and performed 25 Alpha (real-world) and 101 Tango (practice) scrambles. Furthermore, we participated in a number of training events” – this was how Lt.-Col. Tamás Fekete, the commander of the Hungarian detachment summed up the last four months. He added that “I am maximally satisfied with my personnel, they have done a very good job. This can partly be credited to the fact that they have a solid family background in Hungary. Our thanks go to our families and relatives.”
In his speech, Tamás Vargha expressed gratitude, emphasizing that “Congratulations on your successful task execution! I would like to thank you for your excellent, dedicated service of high professional standards, and also for having earned esteem for the Hungarian Defence Forces and our nation again.”