Romanian Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Ionel Ciuca, said on Saturday at the Cincu Shooting Range, where he attended the Distinguished Visitors Day of the Romania – U.S. RESOLUTE CASTLE 15 exercise, that this facility ensures the best training capabilities at NATO standards, allowing virtual training as well as live fire exercises.
“The RESOLUTE CASTLE 15 exercise consists of practical activities precisely planned and carried out so as to allow us to develop the capabilities the Cincu Shooting Range provides for the training and instruction of Romanian troops and their brothers-in-arms from the U.S. and all NATO countries. In this approach we saw Romanian and American military engineers work together in an activity that allows us to learn from each other, to raise the level of interoperability and exchange information so as to be able to further plan and develop such activities. The Cincu range currently ensures the achievement of a certain training performance, the best training capabilities at NATO standards, allowing virtual constructive training and live fire exercise as well. Of recent we have also developed a new capability, allowing us to link the activities on the Cincu Shooting Range to similar ranges in Europe. It’s an optical fibre connection that enables high capacity data transfer,” said the Romanian Chief of General Staff.
In his turn, United States Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said that the partnership with the Romanian forces is highly important for various reasons.
The Black Sea is a key factor from the geographic point of view, a place of global strategic importance. Romania has a very important role in the region. Another reason why Romania is a strategic partner is that we took joint action in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it’s yet another reason why the U.S. forces are in Romania, and we, the American servicemen, will always be at our partners’ side, and I am proud of this. I’ve been here two years ago but today I can see an enhancement in the capabilities and the training of the Romanian and U.S. troops. I am very proud of the way the troops accomplish their missions in Europe, the Alabama National Guard in Romania, and the Tennessee National Guard unit in Bulgaria. It’s a very important step in the strategy of the U.S. Force as part of the European reassurance measures, and this is a very good example. Last night the American Government announced the expansion of the training missions in Ukraine. Since March we’ve been training at the Yavoriv center in western Ukraine. We trained forces of the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior and in November we’ll start training forces of the Defence Ministry. The request of the Ukrainian Government has been for five battalions, and we’ll successively train five battalions. The mission runs from November 2015 to November 2016 with tactical training for infantry battalions, similar to what Romanian troops have had, said the American official, according to Agerpres.
RESOLUTE CASTLE 15 is an engineer construction exercise the projects of which are included in the European Reassurance Initiative and consist of: building 5 km of 8m-wide maneuver roads, 5 platforms for training in the use of weapons and explosives and mountain troops training, and the construction of 13 facilities with various destinations. The works worth over 2 million euros are financed by the U.S. partners and will be completed by the end of the year.
The troops and military equipment participating in the exercise are 65 pieces of military engineering equipment from Alabama, 100 troops who rotate every 21 days, and on the Romanian side – 43 pieces of equipment and 75 troops who operate it.
Commander of the Romanian Land Forces Staff, Major General Dumitru Scarlat, praised the work of the Romanian and U.S. troops in terms of interoperability. “For us this is a very important step. All you’ve seen here today and everything that is being accomplished in this shooting range will last in time for us and our NATO partners to use,” said Maj. Gen. Dumitru Scarlat.