DefMin unveils opening date of NATO command in Bucharest

While at Smardan shooting range in Galati on Wednesday, Romanian Defence minister Mircea Dusa informed that NFIU (NATO Force Integration Unit) command center would be inaugurated in Bucharest on September 3, along with the ones in the other five countries on the eastern borderline of the European Union.

“On September 3, 11 a.m. we’ll simultaneously inaugurate the NFIU commands in all six countries on the eastern borderline of the European Union. On this occasion, the NATO command in Bucharest will be commissioned and the NATO flag will be hoisted,” minister Dusa said, as quoted by Agerpres.

NATO decided early this year to set up multinational command centers in Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and the Baltic countries.

The Romanian Parliament approved President Iohannis’ request regarding the NFIU command in Bucharest on June 23.

As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during his visit in Romania in early July, the center will not be a military base, but will have the role of organizing military exercises and of facilitating the military’s transit to the conflict areas.

In his turn, Romanian Defence minister Dusa was saying in July that the center was set up in two months following an investment of RON 16m (about EUR 3.6m). RON 13m is granted by NATO, while RON 3m from the Romanian Defence Ministry’s budget. According to the DefMin, 42 military will work in this unit, with 27 military from Romania.

Over 200 troops from Italy, Spain, US Land Forces performed parachuting drill on Smardan shooting range

Over 200 military from Italy (42), Spain (79) and the U.S. Land Forces (109) performed a parachuting drill on Wednesday, on the Galati County Smardan shooting range, as part of the Swift Response 15 exercise. No incidents have been reported.

Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps said in Galati that Romania has always proved to be a “strong partner” in the relation with NATO and U.S. Talking about the aims of the drill, he stated that the first target is to improve NATO’s training, arguing NATO armed forces are like a “knife” whose blade will be edged, and the second aim is to prove the capabilities of NATO and of the European allies.

In his turn, Defence Minister Mircea Dusa said that Romania would go on conducting joint exercises with NATO partners. “We will continue to stage joint training exercises with our NATO partners (…) This is possible because we have a higher budget this year; at the last budget revision we got additional funds. Part of the money is for staging training exercises for our troops,” DefMin explained.

“There will be a big exercise this September to defend the province of Dobrogea, to be attended by army, navy and air force troops. There is currently a squadron of US F15 aircraft at Campia Turzii jointly training with the Romanian troops. At the Cincu range, there are troops of the National Guard of Alabama, military engineers that prepare fortifications and a path through the range to be inaugurated early next week,” he also informed.

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