Romania - NATO

Collective Defense

Since 2014, NATO started an extensive process of adapting its defence posture, in response to the major changes in the security environment and the deterioration of the security situation in its immediate neighbourhood. In face of these challenges, Allies agreed at the NATO Summit in Wales the Readiness Action plan (RAP), which sets the direction for the strategic adaptation of the Alliance, while reassuring the Allies about NATO’s capacity to defend them. RAP combines a series of assurance and adaptation measures, which balance requirements for an increased military presence in the East with the capacity of reinforcement anywhere on Alliance territory, in case of crisis and conflict.

Following these decisions, NATO has embarked upon a complex and comprehensive implementation process, which dominated the post-summit agenda, which resulted in: a threefold increase of the NATO Response Force (NRF) up to a division level and an increase of its readiness and responsiveness level, with a Spearhead Force at its core, able to be deployed within days throughout the Alliance; the establishment of new command and control structures on the territory of the Eastern Allies to facilitate training and reinforcements, if needed. The implementation of RAP measures continues, on the basis of voluntary contributions by all 28 Allies, being translated into a vigorous programme of military activities mainly on the Eastern flank.

NATO adaptation continued at the Warsaw Summit in 2016, with the decision to consolidate the deterrence and defence posture of the Alliance, which will provide a better protection for Allied citizens and territories.

Key Warsaw decisions related to deterrence and defence for the enhancement of the Eastern Allies’ defence include:

-          agreement to create a rotational forward presence adapted to regional specificities, enhanced in the north-east (enhanced Forward Presence - eFP) and tailored in south-east/Black Sea region (tailored Forward Presence – tFP) of the Alliance territory;

-          commitment to develop NATO capabilities and to enhance its capacity to deal with any threat, from wherever it may come from. This resulted in the following concrete measures: maintaining the upward trend of defence spending; declaration of the initial operational capacity for the NATO anti-missile defence system; increased strategic awareness and reinforced maritime posture; the cyber defence pledge and commitment to enhance resilience and civil preparedness of the member states; reconfirmation of the role of the nuclear deterrence, as an essential element of the deterrence and defence posture.

Other decisions were aimed at the consolidation of the southern flank through the approval of a framework which allows NATO to respond to threats and challenges coming for this region.

Romania has been and remains a steady contributor and beneficiary of the defence and security measures adopted since 2014, aimed at boosting the security of the Alliance and, implicitly, of the nation. The proactive efforts at military, political-military and diplomatic levels helped achieve a strengthened Allied presence on the Romanian territory and in the Black Sea region. As a result, two new multinational entities were established, as part of the NATO Force Structure – Multinational Division Southeast (MND SE) and the NATO Force Integrated Unit (NFIU), both located in Bucharest, which will support NATO’s missions in the South East of the Alliance. On top of that, a tailored forward presence was established, based on a set of proposals advanced by Romania in the land, air and maritime domains. As part of this presence, a Multinational Brigade located in Craiova and a Combined Joint Enhanced Training Initiative (CJET) are being made operational, thus creating a framework through which Allies can affiliate and send troops in Romania for integrated training, in order to increase their interoperability and defence capacity.

Other decisions were aimed at increasing Allied air and maritime presence and the establishment of a coordination function for maritime activities in the Black Sea. This will result in integrated training and more exercises with the participation of the NATO Standing Naval Forces, alongside the vessels of the Allied riparian states and other interested Allies. NATO will ensure the coordination of the maritime activities in the Black Sea, which will allow for a better surveillance and reconnaissance of the situation in the region, as well as for a coherent and unitary approach between NATO activities in the Black Sea region and all the other maritime activities of the Alliance.

In parallel with the efforts to increase security in the Black Sea, Romania contributes to the implementation of the enhanced forward presence with a company deployed in Poland, together with the United Kingdom, within the US-led battlegroup.

With the aim of enhancing interoperability, readiness and responsiveness of the national armed forces, Romania has tripled the number of exercises. In July this year, Romania will host, together with Hungary and Bulgaria, the biggest LIVE multinational exercise of this year – SABER GUARDIAN, with the participation of around 25.000 troops from 20 NATO states and partner countries. This exercise, which benefits from the deployment of an important number of the US troops, will contribute to the the enhancement of the interoperability of Allied forces and their capacty to defend national security and collective defence.

All these measures are defensive in nature, in accordance with Romania’s international commitments and with the requirements for national and Allied defence. They also confirm the importance of the Black Sea region for the Euro-Atlantic security.

Updated: April 2017

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