Romania’s Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca and the Chief of the Romanian Defence Staff Daniel Petrescu participated on Friday in Naples, Italy, in a change of command ceremony at the Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFCNP).
During the ceremony, Admiral Robert P. Burke assumed command of JFCNP from Admiral James G. Foggo III, according to a press statement released by the Romanian Defence Ministry (MApN). Both are active officers of the US Navy.
After the ceremony, Ciuca congratulated the new commander of JFCNP, Admiral Burke, on his new position, “reaffirming once again the importance of the strategic defence partnership between the US and Romania, and also the contribution of the NATO Joint Forces Command Naples in the planning and management of operations within the NATO structures on national soil,” says MApN.
“The joint action of NATO countries for an enhanced military presence on the eastern flank reflects increased recognition of the need to strengthen it, as well as the concrete manifestation of solidarity between allies. I believe that the development of a strong transatlantic relationship remains the essential precondition for security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area,” Ciuca is quoted as saying in the statement.
The Chief of the Defence Staff, Daniel Petrescu, personally thanked Admiral James G. Foggo for his continued and significant support in achieving the full capability of the Multinational Command of the Southeast Division (HQ MND-SE), NATO’s multinational structure deployed in Romania, and also for the establishment of the new NATO structure in Romania, the HQ South-East Multinational Corps (HQ MNC-SE).
On the sidelines of the change of command ceremony, Ciuca had an official meeting with United States Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite.
During the talks, Ciuca underlined the importance of a robust, efficient and credible NATO presence in Romania, given the complex security situation in the Black Sea area. He also pointed out that Romania “remains committed to the effort to be present in missions under the auspices of NATO,” emphasizing the importance Romania attaches to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. The two officials also discussed ways to reschedule training and preparation activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.