The National Defence minister, Mircea Dusa on Monday announced, in Cluj-Napoca (northwest of Bucharest) that by the end of 2016 in Romania will arrive the first F-16 air fighters. Until then, the military pilots’ training will continue in Portugal and the United States, the Defmin specified, quoted by Agerpres.
Mircea Dusa stated at a press meeting which took place at the end of a balance reunion of the 4th Gemina Infantry Division of Cluj that apart from the current military trainees, a new contingent will leave for training in Portugal.
‘In the air forces’ field, we have finalized the major endowment programme started in 2007 of aircraft for strategic and military transport. We continue the endowment programme with F-16 air fighters, 6 of the 12 we purchase are upgraded and our pilots, engineers and technicians who are already in Portugal are yet training on these air planes; the pilots have completed the first stage of flight accommodation and proceeded to air-ground actions. A new contingent of pilots and technical staff will leave for Portugal for training. Our pilots are to follow another training stage in the United States, and by the end of 2016, we will have in the country the first F-16 air fighters,’ the National Defence minister said.
He specified that at the Fetesti airfield (SE Romania) an important investment is in progress with a view to make it compatible its infrastructure unfolded with the needs of using the F-16s.
Dusa said that, at the same time the ministry has to accomplish some goals in connection with the fleet’s endowment, so that this year a programme of upgrading the frigates will be started, simultaneously with one to endowing the ground forces with combat capabilities – conveyors, armoured vehicles, transport vehicles.
“I wish NFIU command to be operational by June”
Romanian National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa also announced in Cluj-Napoca that he wished NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) to be operational by June.
Setting up the structure was decided together with NATO partners last week. Each of the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – as well as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria have been tasked with establishing such ‘command centres’.
The minister explained that a location for such command is yet to be established, but added an evaluation is in full swing.
Romania, at the same time with establishing this command centre, will have to make the necessary moves to commission a Division Command – such type of command will only exist in Romania and Poland – and the time to achieve it is two years. Dusa stressed a range of approvals for setting up this Division Command will be issued at the NATO Summit in Warsaw next year.
‘Such commands are of a command-control type, which ensure the planning and commissioning of the missions, so that when needed, in a crisis situation, those rapid reaction forces approved at the ministers’ meeting might take action within 48 hours. We are already discussing such locations and tomorrow (Tuesday – editor’s note), together with the General Staff head, we’ll see which are the most efficient from a military point of view and from the viewpoint of material expenditure. It is normal that we should have a command in that place where we already have a structure, where we have command-control elements, where there are conditions for them to function. Evaluations are under way to also establish the amounts of money’, Dusa underscored.