The Minister of National Defence, Mircea Dusa, was present on Friday, on the Day of Distinguished Visitors, at the Romanian-American military exercise “DACIAN VIPER 2015” that is taking place at the 71st Airbase in Campia Turzii. On the occasion he met with the NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow.
Also attending the exercise in Campia Turzii was the head of the Romanian Army General Staff, Lieutenant-General Nicolae Ciuca.
The Romanian-American exercise “DACIAN VIPER 2015” started on Tuesday and will end October 30.
The Romanian Air Forces will participate in the exercise with approximately 200 pilots and technical staff, six MiG-21 LanceR fighters and three IAR-330 helicopters (in SOCAT and MEDEVAC variants), while the National Guard of the State of Alabama will deploy approximately 200 servicemen, eight F-16 multirole fighter aircraft and the support crew and equipment.
The exercise has as a purpose raising the interoperability level of the two airforces, experience exchange and improvement of the level of training of the Romanian and American personnel through joint sorties, in conformity with NATO standards.
Dusa: I believe president’s Obama decision on Afghanistan is good
National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa on Friday said that the decision announced by U.S. President Barack Obama to maintain American troops in Afghanistan is a good one.
Dusa made this statement at the 71st Air Base of Campia Turzii, where the DACIAN VIPER 2015 Romanian-American exercise is under way.
“The security of Afghanistan has deteriorated due to the Talibans’ reactivation, and of the IS [Islamic State] as well. I believe that the decision announced by President Obama is good given that the 14 brigades the Afghans have forged do not have yet the operational capacity to ensure the security of Afghanistan and the measure taken by president Obama, to maintain the troops’ amount in 2016 at the current level, is a good decision. We have already announced in our Supreme Council of Country’s Defence (CSAT) that we’ll maintain in Afghanistan 200 instructors capable to ensure the training of the Afghan Army, and – upon President Obama’s appeal – after the talks we’ll have with the U.S. Secretary of Defense, with Mr. [Ashton] Carter we’ll see what the requirements are for planning next year’s forces (…) Romania is the third contributor state. The U.S. have the highest number of military, followed by Germany, then by Romania. We currently have 650 troops there, of whom 200 are training officers for the Afghan Army, and approximately 420 participate in security and safety missions,” he said.
He added that a possible decision of supplementing the number of troops in Afghanistan belongs to the CSAT.
“We’ll talk about this. (…) A decision of supplementing the troops – I have announced the 200 military that were already approved – can be made only in a CSAT meeting and the Parliament must be informed,” the defence minister specified.
The NATO mission in Afghanistan is supported by 12,500 troops, of whom almost 10,000 are Americans.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that 5,500 American troops will be maintained in several bases in Afghanistan after 2016. Defense Secretary Carter later declared that the U.S. commitment is expected to prompt other NATO members to follow step, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance will take key decisions on the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan over the next weeks.
NATO’s Vershbow: Russian forces being set up in eastern Mediterranean must be topic for military commanders
The setting up of Russian forces in eastern Mediterranean, on ground, in air or naval must be a topic for the military commanders, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said on attending DACIAN VIPER 2015 exercise in Campia Turzii on Friday.
A series of risks are created when Russia commits itself to operations very close to NATO territory, close to Turkey’s borders and they are the more riskier as the objectives of the missions of Russia and those of the Alliance do not seem to be in the same line. The setting up of Russian forces in eastern Mediterranean, on ground, in air or naval must be a topic for the military commanders. The Alliance will answer all these attempts, in order to strengthen defence and will make important decisions in this respect at NATO summit in Warsaw next year, Vershbow stressed.
National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa, in turn, said Romania is not directly involved in the conflict in Syria, but it is one of the few states that has an embassy in Damascus.
“We back the action of the international community for fighting against the Islamic State. At this moment there is no direct involvement of Romania in the conflict in Syria, but we are among the few states that have an embassy in Damascus and maybe Romania, from a political viewpoint, can provide a political dialogue so as to settle the situation in Syria”, Dusa underscored.
The Romanian minister attended DACIAN VIPER 2015 Romanian-U.S. exercise, where he met the Alliance’s deputy chief and U.S. ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm.
DACIAN VIPER 2015 is underway at the 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii from Oct. 13 till Oct. 30. The Romanian Air Forces participate approximately 250 pilots and technical staff, six MiG-21 LanceR fighter jets and three IAR-330 helicopters (in SOCAT and MEDEVAC versions), while the National Air Guard of the State of Alabama is deploying almost 200 servicemen, eight F-16 fighter jets and the support crew and equipment.
Dusa: Cemetery of WW2 Romanian troops to be inaugurated in Russia on October 25
Mircea Dusa announced on Friday at the 71 Campia Turzii Air Base that the Romanian Armed Forces Day will be marked for the first time ever in the Russian Federation with the inauguration in the Volgograd area of a cemetery for Romanian soldiers who died in WW2.
When asked by journalists about the military relations between Romania and Russia, Dusa stated there are none. “From the point of view of the military we do not have a relation.We have found understanding for accessing the graves of Romanian heroes, of troops who died in Russia and there is an agreement in place on monuments management. For the first time, on October 25, on the Armed Forces Day, we will open a cemetery of Romanian troops who died on Russian territory during WW2. We have invested around 680,000 lei in setting up this monument and on October 25 we will inaugurate it. A delegation of the Ministry of National Defense (MApN) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) will participate in the festivity. The inauguration will take place in Rososka, in the Volgograd region,” Dusa stated.