“The army is and will remain one of the most respected institutions in Romania, and modern Romania owes a debt of gratitude to the generations that fought for winning statehood, strengthening independence and sovereignty and for completing the national territory”, Defence Minister Mihai Fifor said Wednesday at a military ceremony that took place in the Carol Park in Bucharest on the Romanian Army Day.
“This is an important day for us, when we honour the glorious past of our Army. I have come from Paulis and from Carei, two of the golden highlights in the Pantheon of the military history of the Romanian people, where, same as here, we laid wreaths and bowed down to the memory and respect of all those who are no longer with us today and who sacrificed themselves for us as a nation so that we may continue to exist,” Fifor said.
He added that modern Romania was not possible without the “exemplary contributions of the Romanian diplomacy through the vision of the statesmen who managed to live up to the magnitude of the past times, and especially the courage and determination of the Romanian Army.”
Fifor pointed out that the country also owes “gratitude and respect” to nowadays service people.
“The place of Romania in the North Atlantic Alliance community and in the EU family is also the result of the important contribution of our servicemen, who, on missions conducted in various theatres of war, have demonstrated, beyond professionalism and value, the seriousness and consistency with which Romania fulfills its commitments and meets its pledged obligations. On combat missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Western Balkans, 29 Romanian soldiers have lost their lives, and their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” said Fifor.
He also addressed the Military Technical Academy students who took the enlistment oath.
He said that 2017 is a turning point for the developments in the Romanian armed forces, the year when, after many years of underfunding, the defence spending budget allows for the launch of essential acquisition programmes with new weapon systems that will be used in the coming decades.
The ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier started with the national anthem being played, it continued with a church service, and wreath-laying by President Klaus Iohannis, Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea, Prime Minister Mihai Tudose and officials of the Association of War Veterans.
The event continued with a change of the guard at the memorial and the taking of enlistment oath.
The ceremony ended with a military parade.
Fifor also visited a military exhibition mounted in the park.
“Helicopters to be purchased from Airbus, but produced in Brasov”
“Romania will purchase H215 helicopters from Airbus company, but they will be produced in Brasov and enter into the endowment of the National Defence Ministry (MApN) and the Interior Ministry (MAI)”, National Defence Minister Mihai Fifor announced on Wednesday after the military ceremony that took place in the Carol Park on the Romanian Army Day.
“I had on Monday a meeting at the Gov’t headquarters, together with Prime Minister Mihai Tudose with representatives of Airbus company. This meeting was also attended by Minister of Economy Mr Gheorghe Simon. It is an old discussion regarding Romania’s partnership with Airbus through IAR Brasov. Indeed, in the next period, a number of helicopters will be purchased that will enter both in the endowment of the Romanian Army and the Interior Ministry. We want that partner companies invest in the Romanian defence industry, not just sell equipment in Romania. Or, I believe that this partnership, of over 40 years that Romania has with Airbus company materialises now by purchasing these helicopters, but helicopters that will be produced on the line in Brasov,” Fifor mentioned.
Asked when the order might be placed, the National Defence Minister said that the Romanian side will carry out the first part this year.
“But these helicopters will be produced on the line in Brasov, a line that enters production next year, according to my info. We’re talking about the H 215 model,” Fifor mentioned.