The first French soldiers from the NATO Response Force arrived in Romania on Monday evening. The soldiers landed at Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base. Other French soldiers are expected in the next few days, accompanied by armored vehicles. From the images published by the Ministry of National Defense, the French military equipment was brought to Romania with the help of an Antonov transport aircraft painted in the colors of Ukraine (yellow-blue).
The soldiers, part of the French Army’s Chasseurs alpins unit (“Alpine Hunters”) arrived at Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport on 28 February 2022. They are part of the NRF, which is being deployed to the eastern part of the Alliance in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. The NRF ensures that the Alliance continues to have the speed, responsiveness and capability to defend NATO territory and populations.
On 25 February, the North Atlantic Council activated the NRF for the first time for defensive purposes.
Footage includes shots of transport aircraft arriving in Romania and French soldiers disembarking.
“Allied solidarity: the first soldiers from the detachment representing France’s contribution to the NATO Response Force arrived, this evening, in Romania, at Mihail Kogălniceanu 57th Air Base. They will be followed, in the coming days, by the other forces and means “, the Romanian Ministry of National Defense said in a press release.
France has announced that it will relocate a battalion of 500 troops to Romania, as part of NATO forces, following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the head of the French army staff, General Thierry Burkhard, announced on Friday evening.
“We will relocate about 500 people, with armored vehicles, combat vehicles, to offer support to Romania, but also to bring the message of strategic solidarity from all NATO members,” the chief of staff said.