Ohio adjutant general sits at head of table with director of the Hungarian Defence Forces Command Directorate surrounded by leaders from both Hungary and Ohio.

Photo by Senior Airman Amber Mullen, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr. (center left), Ohio adjutant general, listens to a briefing from Brig. Gen. Gábor Horváth (center right), director of the Hungarian Defence Forces Command Directorate for Training, Sept. 9, 2019, at the Hotel Hadik in Budapest, Hungary. Horváth briefed Harris and an Ohio National Guard senior leader delegation on the Hungarian Defence Forces Command J7’s mission, goals and training.

Ohio National Guard senior leaders conduct annual visit to Hungary to plan future focus, goals for ongoing partnership

Story by Senior Airman Amber Mullen, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

BUDAPEST, Hungary (09/16/19)

A contingent of Ohio National Guard senior leaders visited Sept. 7-10 to hold discussions and mark another successful training year in a quarter-century partnership with the Hungarian Defence Forces.

This year marked the first time Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr. represented Ohio as the adjutant general, since his appointment in January. During the visit, Harris met with U.S. Embassy officials and Hungarian Defence Forces senior military leaders to discuss the Ohio-Hungary State Partnership Program engagements in the 2019 training year, and collaborate on ways to shape and improve these events in the future.

“This visit was important because it focused on our military-to-military engagements,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Sheldon Chambliss, the incoming state command sergeant major for the Ohio Army National Guard. “We have had the opportunity to continue to develop a true partnership based on reciprocity, mutual benefit and respect.”

Harris met with Lt. Gen. Zoltán Mihócza, chief of staff of the Hungarian Defence Forces; Hungarian Minister of Defence Tibor Benkó; Brig. Gen. Gábor Horváth, HDF J7; Brig. Gen. István Baráth, commander of the HDF Military Augmentation, Preparation and Training Command (MAPT); Brig. Gen. Zoltan Apáti, deputy commander of MAPT; Brig. Gen. Tibor Bozó, commandant of the HDF Noncommissioned Officer Academy; and several other significant Hungarian senior military leaders.

In addition to Harris meeting with key HDF senior leaders, two Ohio National Guard Soldiers conducted a noncommissioned officer (NCO) leadership seminar for Hungarian Defence Forces soldiers attending the pilot NCO development course at the HDF NCO Academy in Szentendre, Hungary.

“The opportunity to build relationships here at the NCO Academy with Hungary’s army and ours, through trading best practices on how we grow and learn as organizations, is what strengthens our partnership,” said Col. Daniel J. Shank, Ohio assistant adjutant general for Army.

Accompanying the Ohio National Guard contingent were two civilians from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and Ohio Task Force 1, who conducted an emergency management workshop for Hungarian emergency response personnel. The course highlighted how military personnel and civilian agencies work together to respond to an emergency or disaster situation.

Every year, Ohio and Hungary conduct about 35 State Partnership Program exchanges that take place in either Ohio or Hungary. In 2019, 500 Ohio National Guard Airmen and Soldiers participated in engagements alongside their Hungarian partners.

“Hungary is a tremendous partner,” Chambliss said. “They are an outstanding ally to the United States military and have been since 1993.”

For a quarter of a century, Ohio and Hungary have partnered together to build forces for the future and enhance interoperability. Through the partnership, Ohio and Hungary are enabled to continue conducting joint training, building cultural understanding and collaborating to achieve security cooperation goals.

Photos by Senior Airman Amber Mullen, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Airmen sitting around table.

Ohio National Guard Airmen train Hungarian partners on airfield management

Eight Airmen assigned to an Ohio National Guard mobile training team conducted an intermediate airfield management course for members of the Hungarian Defence Forces here, July 29-Aug. 2, 2019, at Pápa Air Base, Hungary.


Soldiers conducting live-fire exercises in Hungary.

Ohio National Guard field artillery units participate in BREAKTHROUGH 19

Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery Regiment, conducted live-fire artillery training June 4-15, 2019, near Varpalota, Hungary. The field artillery units participated in BREAKTHROUGH 19, a Hungarian national exercise that utilized multiple artillery systems from Hungarian Defence Forces, U.S. Army Europe and four other Army National Guard units.


Ohio Soldiers review plans in field with hungarian Soldiers.

On its 25th anniversary, Ohio-Hungary partnership is more like a family

Ohio celebrated the 25th anniversary of its partnership with Hungary in 2018 through the State Partnership Program. A quarter century and more than 300 combined exchanges later, the partnership is still going strong, poised for another 25 years of working and training together.”