The Romanian military has contributed "significantly" to the national effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to fulfil its commitments to maintain Romania's status as a credible NATO ally and contributor to European security, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant-General Daniel Petrescu, said on Thursday, in a message occasioned by the 161st anniversary since the establishment of the SMAp (Defence Staff), according to AGERPRES.
He recalled that, 161 years ago, by order of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, on November 12, 1859, the General Staff Corps of the United Principalities was established.
SMAp played a "decisive" role in the process of preparing Romania's accession to NATO, he underscored.
According to him, the Defence Staff will achieve, this year, its proposed objective of accelerating the process of strengthening operational capacity, despite the obstacles and restrictions imposed by the health crisis.
He said that, in 2020, the process of transformation and adaptation of the armed forces has accelerated, the Command of the Southeast Multinational Corps has been established, contingents have been supported in various theatres of operations and endowment programs have been implemented: the Patriot air defence system, the armoured personnel carriers Piranha 5, the F16 aircraft.
At the same time, Petrescu said, the Romanian Naval Forces led a permanent group to NATO under the UN aegis, and the Air Force successfully concluded its participation in the mission in Mali.
"The Romanian military have significantly contributed to the national effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the Defence Staff has completed a new reorganization process, placing the structure that ensures the fulfilment of the Romanian Army's missions on us and establishing functioning pillars. The army, the institution in which Romanians have the greatest confidence, proved once again in 2020 that it always responds presently to the call of the country," underlined the head of SMAp.
In his opinion, the year 2021 will probably be difficult, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also considering the fact that the security environment will have a difficult development to predict.
"We will continue to fulfil our commitments, proving that the Army's contribution remains high in maintaining Romania's status as a credible ally in NATO and a contributor to European security," the Defence Staff Chief also said.