NATO Moves Command HQ to Romania for Military Exercise

Admiral Mark Ferguson in Romania, May 5, 2015From Alison Mutler, AP:  NATO will briefly move an allied joint force command headquarter to Romania as the alliance continues to hone its ability to react to Russia’s moves in Ukraine and other security challenges, a top commander said Tuesday.

The Allied Joint Force Command based in Naples, Italy, will relocate to Cincu, in mountainous central Romania, for 12 days in June to support a NATO exercise involving 1,000 troops from 21 NATO states, said its commander, U.S Navy Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III.

“This deployment will be the first time a NATO Joint Force Command headquarters has deployed to Romania,” Ferguson said in Bucharest during a two-day visit.

Some 350 staff members will test their ability to command and control a multinational exercise from a forward position, said Lt. Col. Thorsten E. Smoll, public affairs officer at JFC Naples. The facility in southern Italy will remain in charge of the other missions that are currently its responsibility, such as the KFOR force in Kosovo.

From Allied Joint Force Command Naples:  “I appreciate the efforts of Romania as we work on other measures to transform the Alliance, such as the formation of the Multinational Division Southeast and the NATO Force Integration Unit” said Admiral Ferguson. “My visit comes at a very important time for NATO and I look forward to continuing our efforts to improve the capabilities of the Alliance.”

Image: Admiral Mark Ferguson in Romania, May 5, 2015 (photo: Joint Forces Command Naples)