Minister of Defense ordered the call-up of reservists

Author: Anna Csonka, János Haász, Original title: A honvédelmi miniszter elrendelte a tartalékosok behívását
Publication: index.hu, PHOTO: MTI – Balázs MOHAI Date: 21/09/2015

Minister of Defense ordered the call-up of reservists

In its press release on Saturday the Ministry of Defense announced that due to the mass migration Minister of Defense Istvan Simicskó – on the recommendation of Tibor Benko, chief of staff – has ordered the partial call-up of military reservists. The ones called up for duty will take over tasks in the barracks, covering for soldiers who have been sent to protect the temporary border fence and those participating in “Decisive Action”, a military exercise.

The volunteer reserve soldiers can be asked to do any type of tasks except for law enforcement according to the Hungarian News Agency, quoting the Ministry’s press release.

The voluntary reserve of the Hungarian army is made up of two groups, a security group and an operational one. The two-thousand-strong security reserve list is always fully subscribed. The operational team numbers more than three and a half thousand volunteers.

The army spokesperson said that the current call-up includes those who have been soldiers before.

“Life in the barracks cannot stop, Hungarian army has different tasks, not only to build the border fence or to participate in military exercises. Reserve forces will do these tasks,” he said. One example is managing the food inventory.

Majority of the reservists called up live close to the barracks so few will actually move into them. The reserve forces are called-up continuously: there are 400 in service right now, a hundred were involved in building the border fence, and another 300, newly joined, are in training. The first call-up was for five hundred people.

The Friday report of ‘honvedelem.hu’ website mentions that army leaders have already called up reserve soldiers. According to this article they have immediately set up a training team in Szolnok (Central Hungary) to prepare soldiers to work with the police in defending the border (this is possible the so-called migration crisis situation in force since last Tuesday). The article also mentions that within 24 hours of the order to create the training team, the first 300 people have arrived, among them 60 voluntary reserve soldiers from the operational unit.

Istvan Simicsko, former State Secretary of Sports, replaced Csaba Hende on 7th September as Minister of Defense. The new Minister has immediately launched a large offensive on the Southern border. After only a few days taking over from Csaba Hende, Simicsko told the Hungarian Times (a daily newspaper) that they have stationed 4,300 soldiers along the 175 km-long border to build the fence. As the current force is barely more than 5,000, hardly anyone remained in the barracks, as 70-80% of them were sent to work on the fence.

After closing the Serb-Hungarian border, migrants have changed their route and within a few days they arrived en masse at the Hungarian-Croatian border, where the army has started to build the fence even faster.

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