U.S. Ambassador to Romania Kathleen Kavalec visited Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase with Romanian Minister of Defense Angle Tilvar and Chief of Defense Staff General Daniel Petrescu on February 27. The visit included meetings with Romanian and Allied military units including the U.S. 101st Airborne Division, a detachment of the Italian Air Force, and a liaison team of the French Army. The following day, on February 28, Ambassador Kavalec attended the change of command ceremony at the 99th Military Base in Deveselu from Captain Tonrey Ford to Captain Elizabeth Clifton, the first female commanding officer of NSF Deveselu. Guests included Major General Iulian Berdila, Lieutenant General Vlad Gheorghita, Colonel Marius Chirita, Craiova Mayor Olguta Vasilescu, Caracal Mayor Marian Doldurea, and Olt County Council President Marius Oprescu. Located within the Romanian 99th Military Base in Deveselu, Naval Support Facility Deveselu provides essential support to the U.S. Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) Romania in core mission areas such as safety, security, and quality of life, and works jointly with the Romanian 99th Military Base to ensure the security and safety of the AAMDS site. The Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System at Deveselu is a joint contribution of the United States and Romania to NATO that serves as a defense against threats to our Alliance from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.
During her visits, the Ambassador praised strong U.S.-Romanian security cooperation and highlighted the commitment of U.S. forces deployed to Romania to strengthen the security of NATO’s Eastern Flank as well as the unity and solidarity of NATO in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. She welcomed the appointment of Captain Elizabeth Clifton, who vowed to continue to build on the already-strong cooperation at NSF Deveselu. Ambassador Kavalec noted that, “Romania is a model for other NATO members on defense budget allocation – a commitment of 2.5 percent of GDP, on hosting multinational NATO forces, and on longstanding contributions to NATO missions and operations worldwide. As Strategic Partnership partners and Allies, Romania and the United States share a mutual commitment to Romania’s continued security and prosperity.”