A U.S. European Command delegation met with Romanian military leaders in Bucharest, May 3-4, 2023, to discuss security cooperation and support to Allies and partners and pave a way forward for continued military cooperation.
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Edward Vaughan, U.S. European Command’s deputy director for plans, strategy and capabilities led the USEUCOM delegation at the talks hosted by Romanian Brig. Gen. Mihail Iancu, deputy head of the department for defense policy, planning and international relations.
“The Romanian armed forces are a strategic frontline Ally and a pillar of stability in the Black Sea region,” said Vaughan. “They are leaders within the Alliance and in the region, and demonstrate our collective resolve to bolster security on NATO’s Eastern Flank.”
Romania hosts both U.S. and NATO forces as part of a larger effort to enhance the numbers and capabilities of rotational forces to deter and defend against Russian aggression. Additionally, Romania will host one of several major training areas as part of the Defender exercise, a two-month long exercise focused on the strategic deployment of U.S.-based forces, employment of Army pre-positioned stocks and interoperability with European Allies and partners.
"[The] Romania-U.S. strategic partnership is excellent, and we are ready to extend our collaborative approach in order to ensure security in the Black Sea region," Iancu said.
On the second day of staff talks, the delegation moved to discussions with Moldovan counterparts on the topics of strategy, planning and defense modernization. The participants agreed to make this a recurring forum.
“We’re thrilled to participate in the Romanian-led, inaugural meeting of the Moldova Security Assistance Roundtable, or M-SAR,” said Vaughan.
Romania and U.S. European Command will co-host the Central Europe Chief of Defense Conference in Bucharest June 9, 2023.
U.S. European Command and its forces are committed to defense cooperation with Romania and will continue to build readiness with NATO Allies and partners. This year also marks the 30-year anniversary of the State Partnership Program between the Alabama National Guard and Romania. U.S. European Command’s activities in Moldova focus on building institutional and defense capabilities necessary for territorial defense, as well as improving its capacity to participate in international peacekeeping operations.