Defender exercises strengthen southeastern Europe’s deterrence with Russia

June 10, 2021

Washington Examiner:

American and Romanian officers wearing corresponding green and blue camouflage uniforms stood atop an observation deck at the Capu Midia training area in Romania on Wednesday with a common objective that interrupted their conversations throughout the sunny afternoon on the Black Sea coast.

Silence ensued each time a PA announced a hostile target was engaged. All eyes focused on the most modern missile-defense systems positioned on the beach below. Breaths were held before an explosive thrust launched a missile.

America’s premier long-range missile defense system, Patriot, fired the rockets at targets alongside the short-range, Humvee-mounted Avenger system and Romania’s Hawk missiles, fired from medium-range SA-6 and SA-8 systems. Romania joined NATO in 2004, making it one of the alliance’s newest members. Its responsibility to defend the southeast flank of NATO along the Black Sea requires training and practice, according to commanders on both sides. Romania has already stepped up with monetary investment, committing 2% of its GDP for the last five years to defense spending and becoming the first Eastern European country to acquire the Patriot.

“What was great in the lead-up to the live-fire today was that members of the 74th Air Defense Regimen, Romania were working side by side with our soldiers,” U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Greg Brady, commanding general for the 10th Army Air Missile Defense Command for U.S. Army Europe and Africa, told the Washington Examiner after the Saber Guardian exercise…

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