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Marine Forces Europe and Africa

United States Marine Corps

USAG Stuttgart, Germany
Opening ceremony marks start of BSRF-14

By Lance Cpl. Krista James | | September 17, 2013

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Romanian Col. Loan-Doru Apafaian, executive director of Black Sea Rotational Force Romanian forces, Maj. Jacob Robinson, officer-in-charge of BSRF-14, and other distinguished guests, salute the American and Romanian flag for their respective anthems during the opening ceremony for BSRF-14 at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th. The opening ceremony marks the beginning of BSRF-14, the first winter rotation of forces in Romania.  BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe.

Romanian Col. Loan-Doru Apafaian, executive director of Black Sea Rotational Force Romanian forces, Maj. Jacob Robinson, officer-in-charge of BSRF-14, and other distinguished guests, salute the American and Romanian flag for their respective anthems during the opening ceremony for BSRF-14 at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th. The opening ceremony marks the beginning of BSRF-14, the first winter rotation of forces in Romania. BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Krista James)


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Romanian Col. Loan-Doru Apafaian, executive director of Black Sea Rotational Force Romanian forces, Maj. Jacob Robinson, officer-in-charge for BSRF-14, and other distinguished guests stand at attention during the opening ceremony for BSRF-14 at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th.  BSRF-14 is the latest addition in an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe.

Romanian Col. Loan-Doru Apafaian, executive director of Black Sea Rotational Force Romanian forces, Maj. Jacob Robinson, officer-in-charge for BSRF-14, and other distinguished guests stand at attention during the opening ceremony for BSRF-14 at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th. BSRF-14 is the latest addition in an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Krista James)


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Members of the Romanian band performs during the opening ceremony for Black Sea Rotational Force 14 aboard Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th. The opening ceremony marks the beginning of Black Sea Rotational Force 14's deployment in the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions.  BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe.

Members of the Romanian band performs during the opening ceremony for Black Sea Rotational Force 14 aboard Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th. The opening ceremony marks the beginning of Black Sea Rotational Force 14's deployment in the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions. BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Krista James)


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Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 14 stand at present arms for the National Anthem during the opening ceremony at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th. Following the National Anthem, the Romanian anthem was also played in respect for both U.S. and Romanian forces. BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe.

Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 14 stand at present arms for the National Anthem during the opening ceremony at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th. Following the National Anthem, the Romanian anthem was also played in respect for both U.S. and Romanian forces. BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Krista James)


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Soldiers with the Romanian army, 9th Mechanized Infantry Brigade based out of Constanta, Romania, stand in formation during the opening ceremony for Black Sea Rotational Force 14, Sept. 13th. The opening ceremony included a pass-in-review and speeches by BSRF-14's officer-in-charge and the executive director of BSRF Romanian forces.  BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe.

Soldiers with the Romanian army, 9th Mechanized Infantry Brigade based out of Constanta, Romania, stand in formation during the opening ceremony for Black Sea Rotational Force 14, Sept. 13th. The opening ceremony included a pass-in-review and speeches by BSRF-14's officer-in-charge and the executive director of BSRF Romanian forces. BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Krista James)


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Marines assigned to Black Sea Rotational Force 14, from 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Alpha Company, stand at the position-of-attention during the opening ceremony for Black Sea Rotational Force 14 at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th. The opening ceremony marks the beginning of Black Sea Rotational Force 14's deployment in the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions. BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe.

Marines assigned to Black Sea Rotational Force 14, from 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Alpha Company, stand at the position-of-attention during the opening ceremony for Black Sea Rotational Force 14 at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Sept. 13th. The opening ceremony marks the beginning of Black Sea Rotational Force 14's deployment in the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions. BSRF is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Krista James)


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MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania -- Marines and Sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 14, and soldiers with the 9th Mechanized Infantry Brigade based in Constanta, Romania, conducted an opening ceremony in celebration of the 14th rotation of BSRF.

The opening ceremony, held on Friday, began with a pass-in-review for Maj. Jacob Robinson, officer-in-charge of BSRF-14, and Romanian Col. Loan-Doru Apafaian, exercise director of BSRF Romanian forces. Once the review was finished, both men gave speeches that welcomed the partnership of the two forces.

“This ceremony is just one more example of Romanian and U.S. forces working together and learning from each other through training,” said Robinson.

BSRF-14 will conduct military-to-military engagements with Romanian and partner-nation forces from around the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions. The force is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe.

“For [BSRF-14] we have scheduled live-fire exercises to include small arms and dismount firing and moving,” said Robinson.
BSRF-14 marks the first iteration of a full-year rotation in the program’s history. The ability to maintain international bonds and lasting partnerships, combined with the capability of limited but rapid crisis response, has made the program an essential year-round mission to U.S. European Command and their partners in the Eastern European Theater.

“Our mission, and I believe the same for the U.S. forces, is to work together, improve interoperability, share experiences, make friends, and to know each other’s traditions. It has been very professional so far and I believe that through everything, each of us will benefit from the other.”

Both Robinson and Apafaian expressed their anticipation to begin working together for BSRF-14 and thanked everyone who helped make BSRF-14 possible.


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