NATO’s Bucharest, Romania-based Multinational Division Southeast achieved its full operational capability designation during a ceremony in Cincu, Romania, March 22, 2018. (Photo by German Air Force Master Sgt. Dennis Tappe)
NAPLES, Italy – NATO’s Bucharest, Romania-based Multinational Division Southeast achieved its full operational capability designation during a ceremony in Cincu, Romania, March 22, 2018.
Activated in December of 2015, MNDSE is a regional multinational divisional headquarters establishing tailored forward presence in the strategic Black Sea region, and its forces are prepared to conduct collective defence operations in the event of an Article 5 declaration. MNDSE is under the operational control of Allied Joint Force Command Naples in southern Italy.
MNDSE’s new status means it has the proper manning, necessary equipment and personnel trained to NATO standards in accordance with its mission.
"Now at full capability, MND Southeast is ready to do its part to deter and, if necessary, to defend the people and territory of the Alliance 24/7 and around the compass 360 degrees,” said U.S. Navy Admiral James Foggo, commander of JFC Naples.
The ceremony came on the heels of Exercise Dacian Lancer 2018. Almost 900 Romanian and international servicemembers took part in the exercise, which concluded this week.
"It has been an amazing experience through [which] we had the occasion to prove that we are prepared to work together as a team,” said Romanian Army 1st Lieutenant Toader Doinita, an artillery staff officer. "As a junior officer, this exercise was a great opportunity of understanding how an Article 5 Operation should be planned, conducted and executed and how important is to take every detail into consideration in order to have the expected results."
Exercise organizers pointed to the success of the exercise and touted the milestone of NATO’s current adaptation process to react with flexibility to new challenges at its southeastern borders.
Since its activation, MNDSE has proven its proficiency in adapting to challenges, such as the case during an exercise conducted last year.
"During Exercise Noble Jump 2017, this headquarters coordinated the first short-notice, operational deployment of the NATO spearhead force,” said Foggo. "By land, air, sea, and rail… 2,000 troops from seven nations arrived here in Cincu - trained, prepared, and sustained …fit to fight.”
The significance of going from activation to full capability in less than three years isn’t lost on the MNDSE formations.
"As an NCO, being here from the very beginning of this great project, I have seen and really appreciated all the work that was put towards developing and refining all the processes and procedures involved in achieving full capability,” said Romanian Army Sergeant 1st Class Iacob Gheorghe Sorin, an operations specialist. "I am proud to be a part of this professional team...I have learned a lot, both here and abroad, and I am grateful for all the knowledge and experience that I have gained working in a growing multinational environment.”
Foggo highlighted that the NATO presence, exemplified by MNDSE, is foundational to collective security and that exercises such as the one recently completed prove the defensive Alliance is "fit to fight”.
"Exercise Dacien Lancer. Mission accomplished. MND Southeast full operational capability. Mission accomplished,” said Foggo. "Now on to the next challenge!”
Story by JFC Naples Public Affairs Office