Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec at the Black Hawk Maintenance Center Inauguration

Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec delivers remarks at the inauguration of the Black Hawk maintenance center at Aerostar Bacau. January 18, 2024, Bacau, Romania.

January 18, 2024,
Bacau, Romania

Minister Oprea,
Dr. Arafat,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

It is a pleasure and great honor to be present here today to celebrate the next great achievement in the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership.

As you all know, the United States and Romania share a deep-rooted bond forged on common values and unwavering commitment to democratic principles.

These shared values are the bedrock of our relationship, guiding our cooperation across various endeavors, including, most crucially, safety and security. Being able to respond to our citizens in their most critical times of need is of the highest importance for our two nations.

So in this spirit, I’d like to congratulate the Government of Romania, Aerostar Bacau, and Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky on the inauguration of the Black Hawk maintenance center.

This achievement places Romania at the head of the pack, as this is the first Black Hawk-certified center for maintenance, repair and overhaul established in Europe.

As this center will maintain the Ministry of Interior’s emergency response helicopters, it is a strong signal of Romania’s commitment to keeping a high level of safety and well-being for its people.

Romania is no stranger to being first when it comes to safety and security. Romania was the first user of HIMARs in Europe, as well as the first location for the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system. Romania is showing yet again, it is not afraid to stand up and be the first to make real commitments to emergency responsiveness.

Already strong partners in defense cooperation, this center is a shining example of the how the cooperation between the Romanian and American defense industries is being extending for civilian emergency use as well.

The opening of this maintenance center today enables Romania to one day maintain and repair Black Hawk helicopters for defensive applications as well. This model will assure Romania with security of supply and provide operational readiness, which have never been more important than they are today.

Looking ahead, the United States-Romania Strategic Partnership is poised to play an even more critical role in ensuring regional stability and advancing our shared values.

We are confident that our collaboration will continue to flourish, fostering innovation, promoting economic growth, and safeguarding the democratic ideals that bind us together.

The opening of the center today is yet one more example of the great partnership between the United States and Romania. It also reflects our shared commitment to ensuring the highest standards of emergency response to our citizenry.