Lieutenant Mirela Ivascu, the first woman to command a Romanian detachment deployed to Afghanistan, said she was under no pressure from this point of view, as she could count on steady support from her colleagues who did not treat her differently, yet admits that integrating was the hardest part of the mission.
Mirela Ivascu commanded the International Military Police Detachment (IMP), 4th rotation, deployed to Bagram. The welcome-home ceremony was held Tuesday at the headquarters of the 265th Military Police Battalion “Tudor Vladimirescu”.
“Integration – the hardest”
“It was a special experience, particularly because it was my first mission. (…) No pressure at all, it was an honor. I enjoyed support from the other military policemen in the detachment who tried and succeeded each time not to give me a differentiated treatment (…) just because I am a woman. (…) Integration was the hardest part, as this was my first mission. With the help of my colleagues, lots of communication and having in mind that more than half of the detachment personnel had been on previous missions to a theater of operations, with their support and experience, we, first timers, managed to make a speedy integration,” she said.
Mirela Ivascu explained that the task of the detachment under her command was to carry out specific military police missions, especially patrolling to ensure order and discipline in the Bagram base. The lieutenant said she hopes that she will have the opportunity to participate in other missions in this theater of operations.
The welcome-home return ceremony was also organized for the Army Institutional Advisory Team (AIAT) Detachment led by Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Grosu. According to him, the mission of this detachment was to “provide support and counseling to the major educational institutions of the Afghan national army.”
“Our mission was a real challenge not only for our small Romanian contingent (…) but also for AIAT team members from the other NATO countries with whom we joined forces. (…) We consider that we fulfilled our mission, in terms of the results obtained and of the obvious progress made by the Afghan partners, as well as considering the appreciation we received from our coalition partners,” said Grosu.