Hungary's key national security focus is contributing to the stability of the region while integrating its armed forces into NATO's force structure. It shares a more acute sense of the threat than many other European countries and is watching events in the Balkans, Ukraine, and Russia with great interest. Hungarians believe their own security and that of its ethnic minorities in neighboring countries will be best served by a peaceful, unified region.
Hungary has been transitioning from a heavy, slow-moving Warsaw Pact force to a lighter, versatile NATO force, and currently has approximately 24,000 combat and combat support forces. Implementing a new training, logistics, and leadership system and a new Joint Forces Command structure, the Hungarian military has gained considerable practical experience working with NATO and other forces serving in international military missions (about 1,000 at any given time).
Hungary currently leads a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan, and deployed an additional Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT), which operates in partnership with the Ohio National Guard, as well as Special Forces personnel in Afghanistan in 2009. The Hungarian military took over command of a joint battalion in the Balkans in 2008. Hungary’s Papa Airbase is the home base of the Strategic Airlift Consortium’s C-17 operations, expanding its contribution to NATO and other European partners.
The U.S. Government has provided expert and financial assistance for the development of modern and Western institutions in many policy areas, including national security, law enforcement, free media, environmental regulations, education, and health care.