News: Opening Ceremony marks start of BSRF-14
Story by Lance Cpl. Krista James
MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania - Marines and Sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 14, and soldiers with the 9th Mechanized Infantry Brigade based in Constanta, Romania, conducted an opening ceremony in celebration of the 14th rotation of BSRF.
The opening ceremony, held on Friday, began with a pass-in-review for Maj. Jacob Robinson, officer-in-charge of BSRF-14, and Romanian Col. Loan-Doru Apafaian, exercise director of BSRF Romanian forces. Once the review was finished, both men gave speeches that welcomed the partnership of the two forces.
“This ceremony is just one more example of Romanian and U.S. forces working together and learning from each other through training,” said Robinson.
BSRF-14 will conduct military-to-military engagements with Romanian and partner-nation forces from around the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions. The force is an annual rotation to promote regional stability and security, increase military capacity and interoperability, as well as bolster and maintain partnerships with their counterparts in Eastern Europe.
“For [BSRF-14] we have scheduled live-fire exercises to include small arms and dismount firing and moving,” said Robinson.
BSRF-14 marks the first iteration of a full-year rotation in the program’s history. The ability to maintain international bonds and lasting partnerships, combined with the capability of limited but rapid crisis response, has made the program an essential year-round mission to U.S. European Command and their partners in the Eastern European Theater.
“Our mission, and I believe the same for the U.S. forces, is to work together, improve interoperability, share experiences, make friends, and to know each other’s traditions. It has been very professional so far and I believe that through everything, each of us will benefit from the other.”
Both Robinson and Apafaian expressed their anticipation to begin working together for BSRF-14 and thanked everyone who helped make BSRF-14 possible.