October of 2013 has not passed boringly either for the soldiers of the HDF Operational Advisory Team (HDF OAT). In addition to the daily advisory, liaison and force protection tasks and the convoy operations several other activities occupied the attention of our soldiers.

This year the most significant holiday of Afghanistan, the “hajj”, namely the pilgrimage to Maccah, the fifth pillar of Islam fell between October 13 and17. Every Muslim is obliged to make a pilgrimage to Maccah, to the Al-Masjid al-Haram (the Holy Mosque) at least once in a lifetime.

During this period our service members had enough time for carrying out refresher and official qualification shooting drills organised by the Americans – and what’s more with American firearms.

As building and cultivating relationships are of equal importance, on October 22, the venturesome soldiers played a friendly football match against the team sponsored by the ANCOP Brigade on the base the 3rd Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP), and then they invited the representatives of the Afghans for a real “Hungarian lunch”.

On October 23, in remembrance of the fallen heroes of the 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight a festive staff meeting was held in Camp Mike Spann, where Colonel Zsolt Molnár, the Contingent Commander handed over military decorations to some of the members of the personnel, and the Americans familiarised themselves with the 1956 events with watching a short film.

Between October 28 and 30 the Contingent’s Medical Officer was participating as a lecturer in a medical preparatory course conducted for the Afghans, thereby contributing to the further positive image of the Contingent.

In the interest of the reception of the next rotation due to arrive to the area of operation (AO) in a short time and the successful execution of the handover-takeover procedure, the planning and the preparation, systematisation and transportation of the TOA documents began. In their free time, our soldiers more and more occupied their thoughts with their upcoming departure from the theatre and Mazar-e-Sharif, meaning “Noble Shrine” and its neighbourhood.