Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Romanian forces test Patriot air defense

Romania recently marked a historic milestone in bolstering regional security and fortifying NATO’s southeastern flank through the inaugural live-fire test of its Patriot surface-to-air air defense system on November 15-16.

Conducted at the Capu Midia firing range, the exercise was orchestrated by the Romanian Army’s 74th PATRIOT Regiment, supported by the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command and its Security Assistance Training Management Organization.

The joint effort between the commands played a pivotal role in advancing Romania’s air defense capabilities. This journey encompassed facilitating Romania’s acquisition of the PATRIOT system via foreign military sales and extensively training hundreds of Romanian Army troops on the U.S. system.

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Maj. John Nastus, leading SATMO’s Romania PATRIOT Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT), detailed the exercise, highlighting the team’s role in planning and coordination. This encompassed ensuring target security, equipment provision, and deploying subject-matter-experts for immediate assistance if required.

Courtesy Photo

Maj. Andrew Petrie, SATMO’s security assistance training manager for EUCOM/AFRICOM, emphasized the event’s success as a testament to SATMO’s ongoing service and commitment through the TAFT program.

Established shortly after the 74TH received its initial seven PATRIOT systems in 2020, part of a significant $3.9 billion foreign military sale, the TAFT plays a critical role in the training and operational readiness of the Romanian units.

The rigorous process of establishing a fully operational PATRIOT regiment takes years, with SATMO currently engaged in training the second of seven firing units. Romania’s strategic location along the Black Sea, its extensive border with Ukraine, and its security collaboration with the U.S. position it as a vital ally to both the U.S. and Europe.

According to Nastus, the dedication and time invested by the PATRIOT TAFT hold critical strategic significance, instilling operators with confidence—a factor further validated by the successful live-fire exercise.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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