On the occasion of the "1956-os felkelés", or "1956 Uprising Day", a military parade was held at the facilities of the Torrejón Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC TJ). The event was marked by the raising of the Hungarian flag.
In commemoration of this important event in the recent history of the Hungarian nation, its ambassador to Spain, Katalin Tóth, was received at the CAOC TJ by Lieutenant General Sánchez de Lara; they then held a working meeting prior to the official ceremony to discuss various current issues.
During the ceremony, the authorities present addressed the personnel taking part in the military ceremony. In his speech, Lieutenant General Sánchez de Lara emphasised Hungary's strategic location on the European continent, "whose security cannot be separated from global and regional processes, the effects of which must be met with multinational cooperation", referring to the country's accession to NATO in 1999.
The CAOC TJ Commander underlined Hungary's full commitment to the unit's permanent mission, the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS), providing air defence not only within its borders, but also in other countries such as Slovenia and Slovakia.
For her part, the Hungarian ambassador was proud of the severely repressed struggle of her predecessors against Soviet tyranny, but which contributed "to the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall, and to the establishment of democracy in Hungary and the subsequent entry into NATO". He also stressed Hungary's full commitment to the Alliance, citing as an example the various NATO units that have been set up on Hungarian territory.
He also stressed the progressive increase in military budgets by the Hungarian government to improve security in the area and for the allies, since "through strength it will be possible to achieve peace".
The 1956 Uprising Day is one of Hungary's three national holidays and is celebrated on 23 October, commemorating the anniversary of the revolution of Hungarian students against the communist government of their country, which was harshly repressed by the occupying troops of the Soviet Union, causing thousands of deaths and injuries. On the same day, 23 October 1989, the Republic of Hungary was proclaimed free from the communist rule of the previous 40 years.
Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón (NATO)
The main mission of the Torrejón CAOC, under the direct command of a Lieutenant General of the Spanish Air and Space Army, is to plan, direct, coordinate, supervise, analyse and report on air defence operations in Southern Europe, following the directives of the NATO Air Component Command on which it depends and with the resources assigned to NATO by the nations in peacetime.
The Spanish Armed Forces make an important contribution to the mission carried out by this centre. Some 120 Spanish military personnel serve in the CAOC itself as well as in the National Support Element (NSE) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency Unit (NCIA).