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Iohannis: "Saber Guardian-2016," expresses consolidated relations between NATO full and partner

Klaus Iohannis gradina Cotroceni

The 'Saber Guardian-16" multinational military exercise is the expression of relationships between NATO full member states and partner states getting consolidated, as well as the implementation of one of the fundamental NATO missions, namely security through cooperation, Romania's President Klaus Iohannis said Thursday at the end of the "Saber Guardian-16" exercise at the Cincu shooting range.

" I have attended the 'SABER GUARDIAN 2016' annual multinational military exercise that is part of the US European Reassurance Initiative, reflecting the US decision, and implicitly NATO's, to secure the common defence of its members, as well as peace and stability in the region. Allow me to thank the Romanian Army and the US Army Europe Command, the two co-organisers of the exercise, for their planning, organisation and conduct of the exercise, as well as to the officials of the attending NATO full and partner members. This is the first major exercise to be hosted by Romania after the recent NATO Summit in Warsaw, which is a preview of a year 2017 that promises to be hectic," said Iohannis.

He added that to Romanians, their country's strategic partnership with the US and NATO membership are pillars of Romania's foreign and security policy, while today's exercise is one of the practical expressions of Romania's commitment to being a trustworthy partner and a contributor to the regional defence construction. " This is our opportunity to increase interoperability of actions in a joint and multinational setting, at training facilities made available by Romania. (...) Making available to NATO a division command for the consolidation of the NATO force composition on the eastern flank is the first step toward achieving the strategic objectives related to the national and Euro-Atlantic security, given that the command has recently been confirmed at a stage of initial operational capabilities," said Iohannis. He added that the exercise allowed for the first time on location cooperation between the NATO Force Integration Unit and the Multinational Division South-East Command. "The two components of NATO are designed to facilitate rapid deployment of NATO troops in the region, planning, conduct and coordination of NATO forces through complex exercises. We want that by applying the decisions adopted in Warsaw Romania to host exercises that are at least as complex, as part of the Intensified Training Initiative, with the participation of the NATO full and partner states. Today's exercise is part of the NATO endeavour to project stability in the eastern and southern neighbourhoods of NATO, including by assisting partners with developing crisis management capabilities and national resilience," said Iohannis.

He added that besides other objectives, such exercises allow Romania to evaluate the endowment of its Armed Forces and the quality of their equipment, as well as the extent to which they meet the pledged level of ambitions. "I am convinced that the attending forces will capitalise to the max on the opportunity to get trained in a multinational environment, and the exercise will be a new beneficial experience to the ones involved, while increasing NATO efficiency in this region. Allow me to wish success to all the soldiers here for the exercise; good luck to the NFIU and the division command, and once again congratulations to the ones who came and got involved in the exercise. Already, first discussions with the attending military commanders have allowed us to sketch up the steerage for a larger exercise in 2017. All this shows that Romania is not a mere participant, but, in very many instances, it can take care of organising, coordinating and conducting very complex exercises," Iohannis concluded.



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