DEFENCE

Defence Minister opens NATO Southeast Multinational Division in Bucharest

National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa attended on Monday the handover ceremony of ‘DACICA’ 1st Infantry Division command to NATO Southeast Multinational Division, at the unit’s headquarters in Bucharest.

The new commander of the NATO Southeast Multinational Division, Brigadier General Ovidiu-Liviu Uifaleanu, until now was commander of the ‘General Grigore Balan’ 81st Mechanized Brigade, was appointed during the ceremony.

During the Ukraine crisis, at the past year’s NATO Summit in Wales, the measures of re-assurance on the NATO and EU Eastern flank were endorsed. Within these measures, it was decided that units of forces’ integration will be established in the six countries on the Eastern flank to, and multinational division headquarters in Poland and Romania.

The NATO ministerial meeting this year approved the the setup multinational division headquarters. Approximately 280 officers, including 75 from other NATO states, will work in the SE multinational division headquarters in Bucharest.

According to the defence minister, the headquarter’s role is to plan the command and control elements.

“The new commander is facing a complicated, hard work; the headquarters should become operational by 2018 (…) We have estimated that all the works referring to operationalization will be worth 60 million euros, and some of the money will be recovered from NATO joint funds,” Dusa mentioned at the ceremony.

According to the him, some of the staff of the the new division command has already been selected; they will get a 30pct pay rise to compensate the higher pays in the units they come from.

The new commander, General Uifaleanu said that the new NATO structure “is a good start.”

“Currently, the structure is an allied command with two units of forces’ integration. The process of realization of the structure is to be defined by our NATO allies,” Uifaleanu told the media.

Romania has committed itself to contribute to the NATO forces’ consolidation by setting up and putting at the Alliance’s disposal a division’s command capable of offering additional options for leading the Alliance’s missions in the Southern area of the allied Eastern flank. The implementation calendar of this project should attain initial operational capacity in 2016 and be fully operational in 2018.

Romania’s NATO division commander calls to readiness for any Southeast Europe mission in 2018

The newly-appointed commander of NATO’s Southeast Multinational Division, Brigadier General Ovidiu-Liviu Uifaleanu stated on Monday that the mission of this structure is to coordinate the two units for the integration of NATO forces in Romania and Bulgaria, with further emphasis to be placed on relocatability and training of personnel, so that in 2018 assigned missions can be fulfilled everywhere in Southern Europe.

“It is a very optimistic start; we are at the end of five months of preliminary measures, including legal ones, regarding the presence of our partners in command. We have many lines of effort, the first undertaking is to set up the initial operational capacity before the Warsaw Summit. Up to that point the mission is to coordinate the two force integration units – namely Romania and Bulgaria. Afterwards, the accent will be placed on relocatability, personnel training, so that in 2018 everywhere in Southeast Europe we can be ready at any time to fulfill missions we will be tasked with,” Uifaleanu stated.

He mentioned that the structure is that of an allied command, which is in charge of two NATO force integration units.

“The process of establishing the structure will be defined by our NATO partners. Currently, the Multinational Division will coordinate 280 troops until the Warsaw Summit and the two force integration forces. (…) A multinational division has 10,000 to 15,000 troops, but currently we do not have information on the number of troops participating in the Southeastern division; decisions will be taken after the Warsaw Summit,” Uifaleanu said.

According to the general, the commandment of the NATO’s Southeast Multinational Division will select troops that actually fought in Irak and Afganistan.

“They have grown, they are now capitans, majors. The first criterion will be linguistic, in order to ensure the first level of interoperability and experience,” Uifaleanu concluded.

Brigadier General Ovidiu-Liviu Uifaleanu has participated in missions in Bosnia (2002) and Afghanistan (2007).

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