Minister of National Defense, Mihai Fifor, accompanied by Chief of General Staff, General Nicolae Ciuca, and generals and officers of the structures that coordinate the Romanian Army forces during the preparation of the mission and deployment to operation theatres, was from Tuesday until Thursday in a working visit to Afghanistan.
According to a Friday’s press release from the Ministry of National Defense (MApN) for AGERPRES, Fifor participated in an information briefing on the missions and activities carried out by the Romanian forces based in Kandahar and met with the troops of the 30th “Carpathian eagles” Protection Force Battalion, of the National Support Element, as well as those carrying out missions within the Train Advise Assist (South / TAAC-South) Command.
“Thank you all for your courage and determination. Romania has a strong voice among the nations of the world, and the Army is respected and appreciated firstly thanks to you, those who, with a weapon in hand, carry out the commitments assumed by our country in the field of international security,” Fifor told the Romanian troops.
At the same time, he discussed with them and learnt about the problems they are facing, the state of military equipment, as well as the real support needs for carrying out the missions.
The MApN also informs that during the visit to Kandahar, the Romanian officials had a meeting with Brigadier General John W. Lathrop, the commander of TAAC-South, with whom they discussed Romania’s current contribution to the Resolute Support operation, the support granted by the US forces in Afghanistan to Romanian forces in theatres of operation and also the current concerns and intentions of the multinational Command for 2018, much of the Romanian contingent being deployed in the southern area.
“Romania has been one of the largest contributors to Resolute Support over the past two years. We are the fifth state in terms of the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan, but the fourth in NATO. As it was confirmed at the NATO defense ministers’ meeting in November, our country had a contribution of some 630 troops in 2017 and more than 700 troops in 2018. At the same time, the Romanian authorities particularly appreciate the support provided by the US partners to the Romanian troops deployed in the Kandahar region,” Fifor said at the meeting.
As many as 29 Romanian troops have died in the line of duty (of whom 26 in Afghanistan) and more than 180 have been wounded in operation theatres, the release also reads.