Chairman of the NATO Military Committee visits Romania and Exercise Saber Guardian

  • 12 Jul. 2017 - 15 Jul. 2017
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  • Last updated: 19 Jul. 2017 14:02

From 12-15 July 2017, General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee visited Romania where he met with the President, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, the Minister of National Defence, Mr. Adrian Țuțuianu, and the Chief of General Staff, General Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă. General Pavel also visited the NATO enhanced Air Policing Mission and observed the US-led multinational exercise Saber Guardian 17.

Upon his arrival at the Ministry of National Defence, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel was welcomed by General Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă, Chief of the Romanian General Staff, with an official military ceremony and honour guard.

After the Welcome Ceremony, General Pavel met with the Minister of National Defence, Mr. Adrian Țuțuianu to discuss Romania's contributions to NATO missions, operations and activities, such as the Resolute Support Mission and NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence. Mr. Adrian Țuțuianu highlighted the “importance of NATO's tailored Enhanced Presence in the land, air and maritime domains across the Black Sea Region in general and in Romania in particular”. The Chairman acknowledged "Romania's active approach towards all the major issues of the Alliance, including efforts to reach defence spending of 2% of GDP and to dedicate resources to modernisation and capability acquisition."

General Petr Pavel met Romanian President, Mr. Klaus Iohannis while observing an enhanced Air Policing demonstration performed by Romanian and British fighter aircraft. President Iohannis and General Pavel exchanged views on Black Sea security as well as the importance of exercises for increasing interoperability, and validating practical and operational concepts. General Pavel thanked President Iohannis for his "personal involvement in defence and security issues in Romania and in the Black Sea region, and for your nation’s commitment to the Alliance."

General Pavel also received a comprehensive briefing on Black Sea security from Romanian General Staff, led by General Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă, Chief of General Staff. An exchange of views on land, air and maritime activities ensued. While thanking General Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă for the warm welcome and hospitality, the Chairman underlined that "it is extremely useful to meet political and military representatives to gain further insight into the country’s defence and security issues".

This country visit to Romania also provided the perfect opportunity for General Pavel to observe exercise Saber Guardian 17 and several related exercises. This US-led multinational exercise, co-hosted by Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, is taking place from 11-20 July and is this year’s largest exercise in the Black Sea Region with over 20 NATO and partner countries participating. Speaking to General Ben Hodges, Commander U.S. Army Europe, General Petr Pavel thanked the United States "for this very concrete example of U.S. commitment to European defence. Exercises such as Saber Guardian improve the interoperability of our forces, allow us to validate our concepts and serve as a practical demonstration of the Alliance’s assurance and deterrence measures."

While at Saber Guardian, General Pavel took part in the activation ceremony of the Multinational Brigade Headquarters South East. During his Opening Remarks, General Pavel stated that “this brigade will help improve integrated training of Allied units under Headquarters Multinational Division South East. It will thus contribute to ensuring sustained interoperability and readiness, in accordance with NATO standards and enhance regional assurance, deterrence and defence”.