Thursday, April 24, 2008

U.S., Romania discuss training and exercises

Air Force Lt. Col. James R. Bachinsky

BUCHAREST, Romania — U.S. and Romanian military officials further advanced their military partnership, with the inaugural meeting of the Joint Committee here April 21.

The committee serves as the policy and legal body charged with oversight of U.S. forces training and exercise activities on the territory of Romania. The Joint Committee is mandated by both the 2005 Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Joint Committee Implementing Arrangement (IA) signed on 20 July 2007.

The meeting was led by co-chairs, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Robertus Remkes, Director of EUCOM Strategy, Policy and Assessments directorate, and Mr. Corneliu Dobritoiu, Romanian Ministry of Defense (MoD) State Secretary for Defense Policy and Plans.

In his opening remarks, Remkes thanked Romania for their efforts not only within the borders of Romania but also their support of on-going military operations in Iraq/Afghanistan.

Mr. Dobritoiu thanked everyone for the hard work leading up to this first meeting, highlighting the importance of the on-going U.S./Romanian partnership which is critical as the U.S. and Romania begin the second year of military training exercises.

The Joint Committee serves as the ultimate authority for a larger group of subcommittees organized by functional categories, these include the Policy and Legal Advisory; Personnel; Military Exercise; Logistics; Security and Information Exchange; and Communications subcommittees.

An Executive Committee, comprised of the leads of all of the subcommittees, reviews the work of the subcommittees, examines the suitability and applicability of recommendations, and advises the Joint Committee.

These groups will serve as a forum to address and attempt to resolve issues that arise during military exercises and associated U.S. forcessâ? activities. Issues that cannot be resolved at lower levels will come to the subcommittees for resolution, or forwarded to the Joint Committee for resolution. Officials on both sides emphasized the need to empower officials at the operational level to reach consensus on issue resolution.

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