Lt. Col. Daniel E. Herrigstad, Public Relations Bureau chief for East Operational Force: The New base from Mihail Kogalniceanu is not American, but Romanian. We are guests there

de Adrian Novac, transl/adapt. C.B.
Luni, 19 octombrie 2009, 21:28 Actualitate

Baza militara de la Kogalniceanu
Foto: US Army JTF-E Public Affairs Office
The new base built with the Pentagon's funds at Mihail Kogalniceanu is not American, but Romanian. This means that the US soldiers there are guests, lieutenant colonel Daniel E. Herrigstad told, the Public Relations Bureau chief for East Operational Force. Stars and Stripes publication read last week that the American Defence Department will spend more than 100 million dollars to build new military bases in Romania and Bulgaria. And this despite the Barak Obama Administration, which recently decided to give up building a new anti-missiles shield in other two East-European countries, namely Poland and the Czech Republic.

Lieutenant colonel Herrigstad said that the new site is located where the ex-General district of the Brigade 34 Mechanic Infantry (UM 02450) used to be. "This is not an American base, but a Romanian one, and the American military are our partner's guests", he added.

The American officer said that the "US will utilise the location and will train in the area according to the measures stipulated in the Defensive cooperation agreement and in the Implementation measures signed by the two governments".

Daniel E. Herrigstad also said that the Romanian base is close to be finalised and it is programmed to be completely operational in due time for the moment when the American troops will be replaced from Joint Task Force-East in the summer of 2010.

According to Stars and Stripes, the American Defence Department spends over 100 million dollars with the military bases in Romania and Bulgaria. The investment from Mihail Kogalniceanu base will be worth of 47.4 million dollars.

The space will be designed to lodge and to train approximately 1,600 soldiers and will include  barracks, a chapel, the general district, the police station and the fire brigade, deposit, post, cinema, fitness centre and other buildings for training and storage.

Another base worth of 60 million dollars will be built in Bulgaria by 2011 or 2012. It will host approximately 2,500 American soldiers.

A new US global military strategy

James Robins, think thank American Foreign Policy Council analyst specialised in national security issues, declared for Stars and Stripes that the US efforts in Romania and Bulgaria are part of a global strategy of repositioning the American forces, which started in the first years of the Bush administration. Relocating the American troops in these countries will not only be cheaper than keeping them in Germany, but they will also be closer to the Middle East. According to the expert, any attempt to retreat the US conventional forces from East Europe would be "criminally foolish".

"It would be telling Russia that that U.S. is not interested in Eastern Europe and telling those countries that they are basically on their own," Robins said.

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