Minister of National Defense Nicolae Ionel Ciuca, attending today at the 'Mihail Kogalniceanu' Air Base the homecoming ceremony for the Carpathian Pumas Helicopter Detachment at the end of their Mali mission conducted under the auspices of the UN, said that the Romanian Army has once again proven that it can fulfill complex missions in extremely difficult theaters of operation.
The DefMin underscored that the target in the context of the mission in the Republic of Mali had been to affirm the ability of the Romanian Air Force to carry out combat missions never before tackled by Romanian detachments.
"When we undertook this mission together with the Air Force Chief of Staff, we set out to prove that this force category too has the capacity not only to ensure the transport and logistical support for the forces deployed to the theaters of operation, but that is also has an active combat component wherewith it can engage in any mission undertaken by Romania and in which we participate alongside allies and partners. Romania's decision to participate in the Mali mission was welcomed at the highest level by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, as a mission that received special attention from the UN and had almost a fifth of the resources dedicated to peacekeeping operations earmarked to it," Ciuca said.
In his speech, the National Defense Minister highlighted the specifics of the mission carried out by the Carpathian Pumas detachment in Mali, and its success.
The 120-strong Carpathian Pumas Detachment flying four IAR-330 Puma L-RM helicopters successfully participated between October 2019 and October 2020 in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Republic of Mali (MINUSMA), carrying out almost 400 combat missions, of which 18 medevac tasks (for more than 40 patients), about 200 reconnaissance/search and air patrolling missions, 100 transport missions with two rapid deployments executed in support of UN operations in other sectors in Mali, at Mopti and Kidal.