President Klaus Iohannis on Friday visited the ships in the Constanta military port that were taking part in Sea Shield 2019, the largest multinational exercise in Romania’s waters and international waters of the Black Sea, and congratulated the Romanian and foreign soldiers on their results.
“I am very pleased to meet here after you have completed the exercise. As I visited the visit, I was shown the exercise and its results and now, at this point, I can tell you something very simple: congratulations, I am very proud of you and the job you have been doing. It is gratifying and reassuring to hear from your commanders that you have very well integrated with the participants from other countries. I enjoyed hearing that despite the fact that the ship does not even have all the facilities you want, you are still very much able to fill that up with your capacity and creativity and, in conclusion, I can tell you that I am very glad to have come here today, that I met you, that I immediately received the results of this exercise and, in concluding my speech I want to wish you smooth sailing,” Iohannis told the Romanian soldiers on board the Regele Ferdinand frigate.
He then visited the MCS Toronto Canadian ship and the Zr. Ms. Evertsen Dutch ship.
“I want to say from the very beginning that I am impressed with the results, I want to congratulate you on having done a great thing. To me, as president of Romania, this exercise was very important because we have the Black Sea, a beautiful sea but that is also a very complicated area, and I assume that during this exercise you could all see why this area is so complex. To me and Romania it is very important to have our allies, you, along with us, here in the Black Sea, working together, training together and knowing each other. The Black Sea area is not just an eastern region or an eastern border of NATO, the Black Sea area is very complicated and we need you all, we need NATO. On the other hand, Romania has been a NATO member for 15 years and we have changed, we have adapted. At first, Romania was a NATO security consumer, but now I can say that it is also a security provider for the region,” Iohannis told the Dutch troops.
According to the Romanian Navy Staff (SMFN), the “Sea Shield 19” exercise was interconnected on Friday, on the last day of the exercise, with the “Vigorous Warrior 19” exercise, at the Constanta Military Port, through a medical evacuation sequence on the Regele Ferdinand frigate. The troops practiced specific procedures of a scenario involving a diving accident with multiple casualties.
The Romanian Navy has organised, since April 5, the largest multinational naval exercise in Romania’s territorial waters and in the Black Sea international waters. There were 14 Romanian military ships and six military ships from Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey, with a total of about 2,200 troops, who practiced joint procedures to fight against underwater, surface and air threats, adapted to the kinds of security threats existing in the Black Sea region.
The Romanian Air Forces countered air threats with MIG 21 LanceR and F-16 aircraft, while the US and Turkish navies helped with two maritime patrol aircraft. The Romanian Land Forces participated in the exercise with a detachment from the 9th Marasesti Brigade for the protection of land communications and the port of Constanta.
NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) was assigned to participate in the ‘Sea Shield 2019’ exercise with the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) comprising ships from Bulgaria, Canada, the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey. In addition, Greece and Bulgaria were represented by one battleship each, according to the SMFN.