MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania -- MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania – After four weeks of exercises in three different regions of Romania, the Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 13 are now complete with Exercise Platinum Eagle 13.
Two company-sized elements participated in bi-lateral military engagements in Craiova and Dej, Romania, and multi-lateral exercises in Babadag, Romania. The partnership brought together units with BSRF-13, Romanian naval infantrymen, and Romanian, Macedonian, and Armenian soldiers.
More than 200 Marines and sailors worked to build relationships with partner nations, enhance interoperability between the countries’ militaries and increase the overall effectiveness of the participating forces. Squad and platoon counterinsurgency tactics were an important focus of Platinum Eagle 13.
Platoons with Easy Company, BSRF-13, carried out a sequence of training options while partnered with a Romanian Company from the 81st Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Dej, Romania. While one unit conducted a field exercise with Marine role-players providing a realistic and responsive insurgency element, another platoon demonstrated U.S. Marine Corps methods for establishing a vehicle-control point, amongst the numerous training lanes executed throughout the two weeks in Dej.
“We did things like small-scale raids, cordon and searches, vehicle-control point operations, and mounted patrolling, which they’re quite familiar with” explained 1st Lt. Philip Hanf, a platoon commander with Easy Company, BSRF-13 and Pasadena, Calif., native.
Hanf described how learning the peculiarities and tendencies that make each force unique helped enhance interoperability with the Romanian soldiers in Craiova and Dej.
“There were some differences in the way that we operate and the way that they task out and use their squads. We usually operate on a much smaller scale, so when we go out in a patrol in Afghanistan most of the time you’ll see small squad patrols or squad reinforced sized patrols. From what I understood from them, they never operate in anything smaller than a platoon” he said. “They do things a lot of times in vehicles and at a much larger scales than what you’d see a Marine rifle squad do in Afghanistan.”
Cpl. Daniel Landry, a squad leader with Easy Company, BSRF-13 and Dracut, Mass., native, described the opportunity to work with his Romanian counterpart as mutually beneficial.
“It took us a couple of days to realize the difference in our styles,” said Landry, “They were really responsive to us and thanked us a lot for what we did. Overall I’d say we accomplished our mission there.”
BSRF-13 is slated to conduct military engagements operations with approximately 21 different nations during its six-month deployment while serving as a crisis contingency force for the Black Sea, Baltic, and Balkans region.