Mihal Kogalniceanu, Romania --
Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 13 arrived at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania which will serve as the unit’s home throughout its six-month deployment as a crisis contingency force.
An opening ceremony today marked the official welcome for BSRF-13 to Romania. BSRF-13 and soldiers with the Romanian 341 Battalion, 9th Brigade stationed out of Topraisar, Romania conducted a pass in review for Lt. Col. Steve Wolf, BSRF-13 commanding officer and Col. Ioan-Daru Apafaian, exercise director for BSRF-Romanian Forces, after the parade both gentlemen gave speeches welcoming the two forces.
“We are very happy to be based at M.K.,” said Wolf. “We look forward to making Romania our new home.”
BSRF-13 is a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force working in the Black Sea region to promote regional security and stability. BSRF-13 will soon engage in military events with Romanian forces in the Craiova, Dej and Babadag area with partner nations from Armenia, Bulgaria and Macedonia.
“Since the first BSRF in 2010 these exercises have provided a great amount of satisfaction and benefits to all parties involved,” said Apafaian. “Mainly in improving our interoperability, developing common operating procedures and improving the relations among military personnel from our countries.”
Wolf explained that interoperability is the ability of military units from different countries to work together.
The next military engagement scheduled for the Black Sea sailors and Marines is Exercise Summer Shield in Latvia. The joint force will focus on integration of fires and maneuver in a joint environment in order to build partner nation capacity, enhance interoperability between our countries and increase the overall effectiveness of the Latvian land forces to operate independently as a NATO member.
At the closing of the ceremony Wolf and Apafaian expressed gratitude toward all the personnel that help make BSRF-13 happen and expressed their anticipation to begin the military engagements.