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February 2, 2023
DEFENCE

CNO Gilday : Romania is an important ally and strategic partner, and has long been a close friend to our U.S. Navy

U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral Michael Gilday, paid an official visit to Romania between January 19-20 in response to the invitation extended by the Romanian Navy Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mihai Panait.

Admiral Gilday came to visit Romania after a visit to France, as part of a tour aiming to discuss strategic engagements and importance of maritime and regional security, as well as interoperability.

CNO’s  international trip began in Paris, and was followed by visits to Bucharest, Deveselu, and Constanta.

In Bucharest, CNO met U.S. Chargé d’Affaires David Muniz, Romanian Minister of Defense Angel Tîlvăr, Deputy Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Gheorghiţă Vlad, and Commander of the Romanian Naval Forces Vice Adm. Mihai Panait.

Throughout discussions, Gilday and Romanian leadership talked about the importance of the Black Sea and their shared commitment to promoting safety and stability in the region.

“Romania is an important ally and strategic partner, and has long been a close friend to our U.S. Navy,” said Gilday. “Together with NATO, we are committed to deterring conflict, defending allies, and continuing to support the Euro-Atlantic region.”

After his engagements in the capital, Gilday traveled to U.S. Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System Romania (AAMDS) in Deveselu, Romania, where he toured the facilities and met with U.S. Navy Sailors. The command, under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, is part of the European Phased Adapted Approach, which protects European NATO allies and U.S. deployed forces in the region.

The land-based missile defense facility is designed to detect, track, engage, and destroy ballistic missiles in flight outside the atmosphere. Its technology is nearly identical to, and works in coordination with, the systems used on the four forward-deployed naval forces Europe Aegis destroyers based out of Rota, Spain.

“Every day, our Sailors are standing the watch, operating forward, strengthening our strategic partnerships, and increasing interoperability with committed allies and partners like Romania,” said CNO. “I am so impressed by the incredible talent and dedication here from our Sailors serving at Aegis Ashore, who are ensuring that one of our nation’s most critical defense assets is always ready to respond to any threat.”

Gilday’s last stop in Romania was in Constanta, the country’s largest Black Sea port, where he met with Vice Adm. Panait, as well as Romanian sailors and students at the Mircea cel Bătrân Naval Academy.

Admiral Panait, who Gilday hosted at the Pentagon in September 2022, presented CNO with the Romanian Emblem of Honor, signifying appreciation of the partnership between the U.S. and Romania.

“It was a great honor and privilege to receive the Romanian Emblem of Honor,” said CNO. “I’m thankful for our strategic partnership, mutual commitment to peace and security, and the strong bond we share with the Romanian Navy.”

Admiral Michael Gilday, accompanied by Romanian Navy Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mihai Panait, visited on Friday the Constanta military port where they went on board the ‘King Ferdinand’ frigate for the presentation of the ship’s missions and talks regarding the upgrade of Type 22 frigates.

Separately, the CNO met with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. J.P. McGee and soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, thanking them for their service.

Gilday’s visit marked the first time a U.S. Navy chief of naval operations visited Romania in nearly a decade.

“Admiral Michael Gilday’s visit to Romania is the third such activity carried out by the U.S. Navy’s Command, after the visits of the Chiefs of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael G. Mullen in November 2006, and Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, respectively, in November 2014,” the Romanian Navy General Staff (SMFN)  said in a release.

 

Photo: Facebook/Fortele Navale Romane

 

 

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