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DefMin Fifor, British StateSec for Defence Williamson, strong message of allied solidarity

Mihai Fifor

National Defence Minister Mihai Fifor on Thursday night asserted at the Air Force 57th Air Base Mihail Kogalniceanu, alongside the UK Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, that the presence of the British partners in Romania is not only a substantial contribution to the implementation of the insurance measures, but also conveys a strong allied solidarity message. 

"I'm very pleased to reiterate our appreciation for the British Royal Air Forces' presence, namely the rd 160 military deployed at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base and the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft that are performing consolidated air police, 1 May through 31 August 2018. I'm emphasizing here the professionalism and dedication with which they carry out their daily activity and implicitly contribute to maintaining a regional peace and stability climate. I'm using this opportunity to reconfirm our wish to continue this particularly priceless collaboration to Romania, which alongside a solid exercise joint programme, the affiliation of forces and staff to the allied command and control structures in Romania, as well as a consistent participation in the naval field, will give the bilateral cooperation an enhanced architecture," Fifor said. 

UK Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson stressed that the British military in Romania help NATO send a signal to its opponents regarding the deterrence of any threat and security preservation.

You are defending the Romanian people, the peoples in Eastern Europe and the people of the United Kingdom, in a time of growing international turbulence. No further than last week you took off to intercept a bomber belonging to Russia that was flying close to the NATO air space. We, in the UK, have come to learn, as best possible, the growing perils of the state-to-state aggressions. We have witnessed a ten-time increase of the Russian subs' activity in the Northern Sea and use of a neurotoxic agent in Salisbury (...) a first time when chemical agents are used on European soil ever since the end of WWII. Moreover, you are supporting NATO here - the largest defensive alliance worldwide - to send a signal to its opponents. A signal that we will not allow ourselves to be intimidated. A signal that we stand united in our decision to deter any threat and to maintain the safety and security of almost one billion people. And eventually, you are placing a cornerstone here for the global UK, showing that in darker times it will never recede within its shores, but on the contrary it will continue to defend the continent's security as it has done for centuries now, Williamson stated. 

The UK guest also talked about strengthening bilateral ties with Romania in defence. 

Today (Thursday, ed. n.) we have made this commitment even stronger by strengthening the bilateral ties with Romania. And not only by the fact that we have sent military experts to guide the Romania-led South-East Multinational Division, within a larger military application of fight capacity assessment due this year, but also by the agreement to sign a collaboration protocol that will establish, for the years to come, the path of our relationship in defence, the UK Secretary of State for Defence said.

The two officials met on Thursday at the southeastern Air Force 57th Air Base Mihail Kogalniceanu with servicemen with the UK Royal Air Forces' detachment deployed to Romania to perform enhanced air police missions, as well as with staff of the Romanian Air Forces which are activating at the 57th Air Base. 

According to a release by the Ministry of National Defence, in 2018, the British Royal Air Forces have participated with top-notch aircraft (T45 HMS Duncan destroyer) in specific training missions in the Black Sea, while the British Royal Land Forces have had a constant participation in joint drills with Romanian military. The British RAF, which this year celebrate 100 years of existence, have deployed at the Air Force 57th Air Base Mihail Kogalniceanu, for the 2nd year in a row, an Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft detachment to train together with the Romanian air and naval staff, aiming to increase interoperability at allied level and perform enhanced air police missions, from 1 May to 31 August. Moreover the British staff officers are operating in the South-East Multinational Division Command and the NATO Forces Integration Unit /NFIU on Romania's territory.

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