The Romanian Naval Forces celebrated on Saturday their 155th anniversary by an impressive air-sea and land exercise, with the event also marking 113 years since the first Navy Day was celebrated in the Black Sea port of Constanta by the sailors on the Elisabeta Destroyer.
According to the Gendarmerie, the festivities marking the Navy Day carried out on Constanta Fleet Command seafront were watched by over 10,000 Romanians, who attended the military and religious ceremonies and the military exercises and sailor games organised by the Naval Forces General Staff with the support from the Seamen’s Union.
The festivities kicked off at 10 a.m. local time as the Great Flag was raised with a 21-gun salute; there followed a military and religious ceremony and then the Battle Flag of the Naval Forces General Staff was bestowed a decoration, followed by the arrival of Neptune God of Sea, declaring the festivities open.
On the Fleet Command seafront, at sea, in the sky and on land there followed the FNR 2015 naval exercise and the traditional ship parade, a host of dynamic and static events in which taking part were 2,000 military and civil seamen, over 35 ships and boats of various categories, nine MIG 21 Lancer jet fighters and Puma Naval helicopters.
Sailor games were organised in Tomis Port all over the day; the Great Flag will be lowered in a ceremony starting 8:15 p.m. and the military sailors will withdraw carrying torches starting 9 p.m.
Attending Saturday’s ceremonies in Constanta were Vice Prime Minister for National Security Gabriel Oprea, National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa, the Army Chief-of-Staff Lieutenant General Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca and the Navy Chief-of Staff Rear Admiral Alexandru Marsu, State Secretary at the Ministry of Youths and Sport Carmen Tocala and former tennis star Ilie Nastase, who has the rank of a Romanian Army general.
The Navy Day celebration on August 15 is closely linked to the Orthodox Christian feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, who is the protector of the sailors everywhere.
Defence Ministr: Romania’s two frigates to undergo upgrading; we’ll purchase new ships as well
National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa said in an address to the festivities marking the Romanian Navy Day on Saturday that the budget earmarked the Romanian Naval Forces in the last two years was four times higher, which has led both to the improved training of the military seamen and the upgrading of the Navy’s technical-military base.
Dusa stressed that the upgrading of Romania’s two frigates – the Regele Ferdinand and the Regina Maria – will continue this year and new ships will also be purchased.
“Measures have been taken to upgrade and increase the operating capacity of the Military Navy. Both Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Vice Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea supported the National Defence Ministry in order to stop under-funding and, in 2013-2014 we benefited from substantial funding. The Naval Forces’ budget has actually been increased four times, so that besides the training programme for the military seamen we should be able to pay special attention to upgrading the technical-military base of the Navy”, he explained, according to Agerpres.
The minister added: “The two frigates are scheduled to begin the upgrading process, the second phase this year… We also aim to purchase new ships as well, battle ships and tugboats, that should enable us to manoeuvre our ships into port, so that we should no longer rent ships from other economic agents. When we speak of the modernisation of the Military Navy we also speak of equipping it with last-generation weapons, of creating the necessary structures to defend the Romanian coast and the Romanian sea border waters”.
Defence Minister Dusa and Vice PM Oprea took part in the festivities staged on the Naval Forces Command seafront in the Black Sea port of Constanta on the occasion of the Romanian Navy Day.
PM Ponta wishes Romanian sailors, navigators ‘Happy anniversary’ on Navy Day
Prime Minister Victor Ponta wished the Romanian sailors and navigators “Happy anniversary” on Saturday, on the occasion of the Romanian Navy Day and underscored they all deserve respect and appreciation for the manner in which they do their duty.
“Happy anniversary to the Romanian sailors and navigators on the Navy Day! I am glad we have succeeded to repair the mistakes of the past and to do them justice by the law on the professional pensions – you deserve respect and appreciation for the manner in which you do your duty”, Ponta wrote on Facebook.
President Iohannis: Our Military Navy is force structure able to fulfil its missions
President Klaus Iohannis wished all those who have embraced a naval profession – military and civil seamen, ship-builders and port workers – “Happy anniversary” and a safe journey on the occasion of the Romanian Navy Day celebrated on Saturday, saying they all are “professionals who have flown the Romanian flag at the mast at the world’s seas and oceans”.
“By the quality and training level in line with the modern standards of those who today serve their country in the Romanian Naval Forces, which celebrates the 155th anniversary since its establishment on October 22, 2015, our Military Navy stands out as a balanced force structure, able to fulfil the specific missions both at a national level and at the level of the operations carried out as part of the regional initiatives or sponsored by NATO and the European Union”, Iohannis said in a message sent the news media by the Presidential Administration and read by presidential advisor Ion Oprisor at the events dedicated to the Romanian Navy Day.
The head of state underscored that this year, “amid the current crisis seen in our neighbourhood, the Naval Forces stand out by their active participation in the Atlantic Resolve South initiative, by its regional component the Black Sea Resolve, an initiative that lays stress on training in a multinational framework with a view to fulfilling the missions set in the national and international security system”.
Iohannis added that “special results are also recorded by the border police seamen, who constantly prove their devotion and competence in making the maritime and river borders safe, with particular emphasis on the external borders of the European Union”.
The president announced he had acted on a proposal put forward by the national defence minister to bestow the Maritime Virtue Order, Knight Rank for military on the Battle Flag of the Naval Forces General Staff “as appreciation for the high professionalism and the remarkable results obtained over the years”.
Vice PM Oprea: Romanian seamen are Romania’s visiting card across world
Vice Prime Minister for National Security Gabriel Oprea said on attending the festivities marking the Romanian Navy Day in the Black Sea port of Constanta on Saturday that the Romanian seamen “are a visiting card of the country across the world” and told them to stay united and strong.
Oprea, also the Minister of Internal Affairs, stressed in an address that he keeps the Romanian Navy in esteem, because its members have a tough work, with great responsibilities.
“Be it that they have the mission to defend the national river and sea borders, be it that they work on the merchant ships, the Romanian seamen are a visiting card of the country across the world… I have full respect for the Romanian seamen, you all have a tough work and one of great responsibility. It is only the strong characters who can take upon themselves the professional and personal sacrifices that you make. Privations are not easy for your families either and that is why I wish you to stay united and strong”, Oprea said.
He underscored that the Romanian military participate in missions successfully alongside the partners in the European Union and NATO.
“As a vice prime minister and minister of internal affairs and also as a former defence minister I am proud that the Romanian sailors and the border policemen of the Coast Guard constantly participate alongside our partners in the European Union and NATO in international missions and exercises with remarkable results. Thanks to the Romanian military, Romania attained its first objective of strategic importance eleven years ago – the accession to NATO and also thanks to the Romanian military we gained the respect and appreciation of our international partners. By courage, solidarity and sacrifice showed in the operation theatres, the Romanian military have made an essential contribution for Romania to be today a pillar of stability and a provider of security in the region. Romania today has the most important security guarantees in its history and this means our Euro-Atlantic option has been a correct one”, Oprea said.