Hungarians Join NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan

NATO Training Mission Afghanistan
Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class David R. Quillen

Date: 05.02.2010
Posted: 05.02.2010 22:34
News ID: 49015
Hungarian Helicopter Trainers Arrive in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan - Hungarians air and ground crew trainers from the Home Defense Force, 86th "Szolnok" Helicopter Base have landed to add extra trainers to the growing Afghan national army air corps helicopter crews at Kabul.

NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan works shoulder to shoulder with the Afghan national army air corps. In 2007 the Combined Air Power Transition Force was created bringing together several nations to provide a foundation for the ANAAC. Partnering nations include the United States, Canada, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and now Hungary.

"We have come to Afghanistan as instructors to train the Afghans in the proper use of the Mi-24, as both air and ground crew. We use the same craft back home, so it was a natural transition for us to come here to teach" said Maj. Bela Lazar of the Hungarian home defense force.

The Afghan air corps uses the NATO named Mi-35 or "Hind E" attack helicopter, which is the same design as the Mi-24. The Hungarians have agreed to a provisional year long tour, with three teams of ten instructors cycling through in four month rotations. The Hungarians will capitalize on the lessons learned from both their American and Czech counterparts and have designed training accordingly.

"We have been training for many months, a year even on those lessons learned by other nations that use the Mi-24 and how they work here [in Afghanistan]," Lazar said.
The enthusiasm is apparent when Lazar talks about the experience of being in Afghanistan as this will be the 86th Helicopter Regiment's first mission outside Hungary and the team has high expectations. Lazar has seven years of instruction experience and the rest of the team is equally experienced.