3th Warship Subdivision / Hadihajós Alosztály
"Navigare necesse est, vivere non est" [to sail is necessary; to live is not]. This oft-repeated, now somewhat hackneyed sentence, is quoted in many places, without having to be aware of the true meaning. The quote that Pompey Magnus, Roman general (today one would say that Admiral) comes from, who held many of the first naval theorist. The Hungarians had always to return to the question, whether Hungary needs naval sailors?
The Land Forces units include the MH 1. Honvéd Tuzszerész és Hadihajós Ezred [HDF 1st Honvéd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Warship Regiment / Battalion ] stationed in Budapest. Hungary had a small Danbian Flottilla, but in 2001 they ceased to exist as a separate military branch. On 30 June 2001 the HDF 1st Honvéd Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Warship Battalion (earlier Regiment) took over the Honvéd Folyami Flottilla. The warship unit was discontinued as a TOE element in July 2001, but the two outfits with a rich history and similar assignments were merged into a single grouping to form the HDF 1st ‘Honvéd’ EOD and Warship Regiment.
The Flottilla had 3 relatively old and outdated "AM" (MS-25) type river mineclearing ships, and several motorboats. The mineclearing craft are 27 meters long with a displacement of 72 tons. Three other units of this class, which was built from 1979 through 1981 at Brodotechnika, Beograd, YU, were withdrawn from military service in 2005 and converted into river tour boats.
The Honvéd Hadihajós [Army Warship] Department, whose principal responsibility was the river Danube, was formed on on 14 May 1945 [the word Hadihajós is Hungarian for warship]. Despite the sacrifices and heroic action during the period 1948-1951, three ships were destroyed (Baikal, Dömös, Tass). The Hadihajós Unit, suited to the task of implementing mine clearance, was organized in 1951 to 1991.
In the early 1980s, a significant development has been carried into this allegation was six Yugoslav-made mine clearance vessel. Independent since 1991, the Brigade assumed the name Hadihajós Honvéd River Fleet until the end of 2001. In 2001, after the dissolution of the Honvéd River Fleet formed a new organization, the Hungarian army of 1. Honvéd Regiment known as the Tuzszerész and Hadihajós.
The EOD and Mine Clearance Battalion and the warship unit merged into a single unit as of 1 July 2001 under the designation “HDF 1st ‘Honvéd’ EOD and Warship Regiment”, and continued to uphold the distinguished traditions of their predecessors to meet the new challenges of the 21st century.
The HDF warship service has undergone a significant transformation over the past few years and continues to grow in importance. The implemented changes in the HDF force structure, the challenges of our age and the altered system of missions and requirements together have had a profound impact on the deployability of the unit and the range of tasks assigned to warship service. Their core roles have been extended to include providing support on water to the EOD missions and ensuring water supply. To enhance the effectiveness of their task execution and reaction capability, two mine countermeasures vessels (the EOD patrol crafts Ercsi and Baja) were introduced into the TOE of the warship subdivision.
The first mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV)/patrol craft of the Hungarian Defence Forces entered service in September 2005. The commissioning ceremony of the refitted AN-2 class minehunter was held in the port of Ercsi. The latest warship of the unit bears the name of this town in Pest County, since by tradition the HDF warships are designated after towns lying on the banks of the River Danube. The warship “Ercsi” entered service following the vessels “Óbuda”, “Dunaújváros”, “Dunaföldvár” and “Tass”. With the “Ercsi” MCMV/patrol craft in service, the EOD unit was ready to start locating, finding and rendering safe the WWII UXOs in the water as well as on the ground.
The second refitted MCMV/patrol craft of the Hungarian Defence Forces was named after a Danubian town too. The AN-2 class MCMV was ceremonially christened in Baja, at the port situated next to the town’s main square in May 2007. By using this refitted mine countermeasures vessel, the HDF EOD personnel are able to destroy and neutralize UXOs found in the River Danube as well as all other navigable waterways of Hungary.
The “Baja” was one of the four minehunters in service with the EOD and warship regiment. It took four months to refit the vessel, which involved replacing all the components except the frame. Its main machinery is a diesel engine of the latest Euro-5 standard so the ship can do up to 43 kilometers per hour. This built-in engine is necessary to make sure that the EOD patrol craft can sail in waterways where it has to comply with special environmental protection regulations.
The MCMVs “Baja” and “Ercsi” are two warships in service with the special watercraft EOD platoon of the regiment. The deminer crews of the two warships and the platoon leader had taken the basic EOD course at the unit before they started their training, so they can assist with the work of the EOD divers in case of an actual deployment. The MCMVs are ready to set sail for the scene at very short notice on receiving a call. It takes at least one hour to prepare the other minesweepers for setting sail from the port. The MCMVs have the benefit of being fast, and they allow transportation by a trailer which means that besides the River Danube, they can be deployed on all navigable rivers and lakes/still waters around the country. The only disadvantage is that their electronic crane can hoist up to 250 kilograms at a time, while the davits of the other minesweepers have a lifting power of one ton.
During 2012 the Hungarian PRT group in Afghanistan removed an important number of magnetic improvised explosive devices (IED), including one emplaced on a tanker truck in the town of Pol-e Khumri. Led by the commander, the Quick Reaction Force and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians of the Hungarian contingent quickly deployed to the scene where they cordoned off the area and cooperated with the EOD technicians of the Afghan national security forces until successfully removing the IED after more than three hours of constant work. Through their action, the Hungarian soldiers have thwarted a bomb attack that would have claimed around 1,500 lives. During their activities in past years two of the best Hungarian EOD officers lost their lives while saving the lives of others.
The dissemination of information on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and its annexed Protocols within the Hungarian Defence Forces is part of the curricilum of education and training. All relevant provisions are or will be incorporated in the curriculum of Hungarian institutions of higher military education. Education programs for officers and civil servant trainees includ international law. Interpretation and implementation of disarmament and non-proliferation treaties, conventions and regimes etc. are discussed at courses at the University of National Public Administration organised for would be public servants.
At the level of military units these topics are addressed in practice so as to ensure that soldiers can successfully cope with all related tasks. There is a special emphasis on international treaties and ations in the training of peace keeping mission personel. The designated unit of the HDF, the 1st EOD [explosive ordinance disposal] and Warship Regiment regularly holds trainings and demonstrations for civilian organisations, primary and secondary schools.
Destruction of stockpiles of cluster munitions in the presence of international observers and members of civil society began on 24 March 2011. All stockpiles have been destroyed by HDF 1st EOD and Warship Regiment in the period between 24 March and 08 July 2011.
The Siege of Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade) occured in July 1456. The city and the fortress was defended by John Hunyadi against the the overwhelming turkish army (under the command of Sultan Mehmed II - the conqueror of Constantinople). By 22nd of July the turkish army had to retreat, and the battle ended with a huge hungarian victory. The Ottoman Empire did not start any major campaign against the Hungarian Kingdom until 1521.
22nd of July is now a National Memorial Day in rememmbrance of the victory and of the fallen heroes (Hunyadi himself died shortly after the battle) The Hungarian Danube Flottila (oaring boats - "sajkas" ) played an important part in the victory, so in 2012 the three Nestin class minesweepers of the 1st EOD and Warship Regiment - as today's Danube Flottila - fired a gun salute in Budapest in front of the Castle Hill. At 10.30 a.m., the Bomb Disposal and Naval Regiment of the Hungarian Defence Forces commemorated the heroes with a salute.
Monitor warships were first deployed by the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy's Danube Flotilla. Warship construction at Hungarian shipyards burgeoned after Conciliation in 1867. The first pair of monitor ships were completed in spring 1871. The main duty of the Maros and the Leitha (later the Lajta) was to provide artillery support for land troops, as well as to protect bridges and other strategic objects near the water, with a baptism of fire occurring in a battle at Szabács on the Száva River in 1878.
STANAG 2254 (Navigable Inland Waterways), 2255 (Ports) and 2256 (Inland Hydrography), deal basically with navigation issues which, owing to Hungary’s landlocked status and the elimination of the Danube flotilla, do not apply (or apply only to a limited extent) to the Hungarian Defence Forces. Since Hungary has neither a navy nor seaports, the importance of STANAG 2255 Military Geographic Documentation (MGD) on Ports is negligible for the Hungarian Defence Forces.
STANAG 2254 lists the most important parameters necessary to navigation, such as width, depth, speed, ice coverage or extremities, e.g., excessive changes in the water level of a watercourse or a lake, based on which decisions can be made on the navigability broken down to the various types of vessels. This information may be of special importance since restrictions imposed on commercial ships may not necessarily apply to low draught vessels especially built to the needs of the law enforcement forces. Commercial waterways are marked with buoys; these are maintained by the continuous monitoring of the river or the lake. Such markings, naturally, do not exist on waterways where commercial navigation is prohibited but other water traffic, like patrolling or rescuing, may exist. STANAG 2256 deals with inland hydrography. Although this standard has much in common with STANAG 2254 and 2255, this STANAG was basically not made to meet navigational requirements.
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