The USA has announced that it will maintain, for at least another nine months, its soldiers deployed at the Mihail Kogălniceanu base in southeastern Romania

The Pentagon will maintain thousands of soldiers for at least another nine months at the Mihail Kogălniceanu base in Romania, the American military deployment closest to the conflict in Ukraine, officials quoted by The New York Times have announced. According to the American publication, until now it was not clear whether the US would maintain its unit at the base in southeastern Romania or move its forces elsewhere.

Starting last summer, about 4,000 soldiers from the US 101st Airborne Division are stationed at this base, including small groups of troops that frequently carry out exercises on the border with Ukraine. The troops will leave Romania in the next two months, and according to officials quoted by The New York Times, they will be replaced by a different brigade of the same division, led by senior officers and high-level military strategists. Sending them near a conflict zone allows, say military analysts, to make decisions more quickly on the positioning of troops and weapons, if Russia were to push the war into NATO territory, of which Romania is a part.

Such a move „would ensure that the United States is well positioned to provide robust deterrence and a defensive posture to our allies on the European continent”,  the Pentagon said in a statement on Saturday, adding that „the U.S. will continue to adjust posture accordingly in response to the dynamic security environment'”. Meanwhile, starting on January 15, over a hundred American soldiers are training alongside infantrymen from the 300th Mechanized Infantry Battalion”St. Andrew”  in Galaţi (eastern Romania).

According to the Romanian Foreign Ministry, the purpose of the training is to deepen and perfect techniques, tactics and work procedures, to acquire  the characteristics and combat capacity generated by the military equipment, as well as to increase the level of interoperability in accordance with NATO requirements. Several thousand foreign soldiers are currently in Romania, after the NATO summit in Madrid in the summer decided to strengthen the Eastern Flank, and their number is growing. Most of them are from the United States and France, stationed at the Mihai Kogălniceanu Military Base.

Canadian, British and Italian military personnel have also been stationed here, by rotation, on Air Policing missions. For the first time, the first battle group under NATO command was established in Romania, led by the French, in Cincu, in the center of the country. Also, hundreds of French and Dutch soldiers have come, so far, by rotation to Romania. And the Multinational Brigade from Craiova (south) was reinforced by Polish and Portuguese soldiers. Thousands of American and foreign troops are deployed in Poland as well,  also to strengthen the position of the North Atlantic Alliance in the face of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. (Daniela Bucu, Radio Romania International)