Today, Wednesday 17th May 2023 marked the occasion of the Handover Takeover ceremony for EUFOR Chief of Staff with Brigadier General Zoltán Somogyi of the Hungarian Defence Forces handing over to Brigadier General Ovidiu Lungu of the Romanian Armed Forces. The ceremony was attended by Romanian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina H.E. Anton Păcureţu, Ambassador of Hungary to Bosnia and Herzegovina H.E. Krisztián Pósa, Chief of Defence of the Hungarian Defence Forces Lieutenant General PhD Gábor Böröndi, Major General Ivica Jerkić, Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff AF BiH for Operations, Major General Radovan Ilić, Commander of the Operations Command AF BiH.
Brigadier General Somogyi has been COS EUFOR since May 2022 and consistently worked to ensure unity of effort across all EUFOR HQ Branches and Units. During the ceremony Brigadier General Somogyi was presented with the Italian Ministry of Defence Commemorative Cross for the Peacekeeping Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EUFOR Operational Althea Common Security and Defence Policy Medal and a Commander EUFOR Commendation in recognition of his outstanding service and commitment.
While addressing the parade, outgoing COS EUFOR Brigadier General thanked COM EUFOR Major General Habermayer, COM NHQSa Brigadier General McGaha, Major General Jerkić Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff AF BiH for Operations and his fellow EUFOR soldiers for their support and comradeship throughout his time as COS EUFOR. He also wished incoming COS EUFOR Brigadier General Lungu future success in his new role. He concluded by stating
“I wish all the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina all the very best. I firmly believe that they deserve a progressive, prosperous and peaceful future.”
During the ceremony an exchange of badges took place, symbolising the handover of authority. Incoming COS EUFOR Brigadier General Lungu addressed the parade, stating:
“I am particularly excited about the potential for cooperation with our partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through commitment, support, dedication and, most importantly, a combined effort, we can achieve lasting peace and stability in this region.”
COM EUFOR Major General Habermayer addressed and expressed his gratitude to Brigadier General Somogyi for his commitment to EUFOR and for the support he has given to COM EUFOR and his predecessor and stated “I have witnessed first-hand your ability to innovate and drive change; I am sure that the Hungarian Defence Forces will be very much enhanced by your return.”
COM EUFOR also welcomed Brigadier General Lungu to the mission, stating “Your knowledge and experience will be invaluable and will make a significant impact on the operational effectiveness of EUFOR.”