The U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Romania's Minister of Defense Mircea Dusa today signed a number of significant agreements, in order to enhance the strong and productive partnership between the countries.
Among the agreements reached the Pentagon spokesperson was quoted as saying by Defense Aerospace, that the U.S. will help Romania to support logistics in and out of Afghanistan, including both personnel and cargo movement.
"Secretary Hagel praised this agreement, which is particularly important as the U.S. prepares to wind down transit center operations at Manas, Kyrgystan next year," Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement issued after the meeting. "Secretary Hagel highlighted this agreement as a further testament to Romania's steadfast commitment to the ISAF mission and its commitment to regional and international security," he added.
In addition, Hagel thanked Romania for its decision to host the Aegis Ashore missile defense system, emphasizing that the agreement reaffirms and strengthens the collective defense upon which NATO was founded. "This system represents an important component of the larger European Phased Adaptive Approach and is expected to be operational in 2015." At Hagel's direction, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Dr. James N. Miller will attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Aegis Ashore system at Deveselu later this month.
Hagel further praised Romania's decision to purchase 12 F-16 aircraft from Portugal. He added that this significant investment in air superiority capabilities will open the door for greater regional collaboration and will be valuable to future NATO and coalition operations.
"Secretary Hagel reaffirmed that Romania is one of the United States' staunchest allies. The two leaders also agreed to look for ways to expand our strong military cooperation as well as to support Romania's efforts to become a leader in the region and in NATO."