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Rear Admiral Mirsu: NATO, riparian states' exercises in Black Sea not provocative or offensive

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The Chief of Staff of the Romanian Naval Forces (SMFN), Rear Admiral Dr. Alexander Mirsu, stated on Monday in southeastern Constanta, during the opening ceremony of the Multinational "Poseidon 2017" exercise, that exercises carried out in the Sea Black, with forces or structures within the North Atlantic Alliance and the riparian states, pursue the open cooperation for ensuring safe navigation routes and have no provocative or offensive nature.

According to The Chief of SMFN Staff, "Poseidon" debuted in 2015 as a bilateral Romanian-Bulgarian naval exercise, hosted alternately by the two countries in the national and international territorial waters of the Black Sea, and this year, at its fourth edition, Poseidon has gained a multinational bearing, through NATO naval group for fighting against marine mines (SNMCMG-2) participation, along with naval units of the two national Marines. The entire LIVEX type application is led by the Co-ordination Exercise Centre in the Black Sea, hosted by Starfleet Command.

"Poseidon 2017 is a Romanian-Bulgarian annual bilateral exercise, carried out with the participation of naval and land forces through which we practice NATO tactics, techniques and standard procedures, to increase interoperability. For this year's edition of the exercise, which is conducted in the SNMCMG—2 company, planners have provided training in some specific sequences which aim to provide security in these waters, to manifest solidarity within the Alliance, maintain navigation freedom in the area. The security challenges are significant and we unite our efforts in order to keep the area safe. ( ...) NATO exercises in the Black Sea of the bordering countries are not provocative or offensive. They are complex and carry a message of friendship and pursue the interoperability growth, " affirmed Vice Admiral Mirsu.

The Chief of the Navy Staff also noted that after the recently ended Shields Sea 17 major exercise in which surface and under water naval battling tactics and techniques were practiced, Poseidon 2017 focuses on the anti-mines battle and the discovery and neutralization of underwater hazards.

According to organizers, over 1,500 soldiers from seven NATO member states take part in the Poseidon 2017 multinational exercise. From March 5 through 13, warships from seven member countries of the North-Atlantic Alliance, two teams of divers specialized in the discovery and neutralization of underwater hazards (EOD) from Romania and Turkey, and two staff officers from Bulgaria and Turkey, integrated in the Co-ordination Centre for Exercises in the Black Sea participate in fighting sequences in the Romanian and international territorial waters of the Black Sea.

The Co-ordination Centre for Exercises in the Black Sea will lead the exercise that will involve 17 warships, a Puma Naval helicopter and two fast vessels for divers. The technique used to create the battlefield environment will be complex, so that two MiG 21 Lancer aircrafts and a vessel of the Coast Guard will join during the application.

The main objective of this exercise is to increase the interoperability level between the participating forces in the anti-mine fight, and to conduct a national assessment and certification of forces that will be part of the NATO Response Force (eNRF) for 2018.

Poseidon 2017, organised by the Romanian Naval Forces brings to Constanta, for the second time this year, the NATO naval Group fighting against marine mines (SNMCMG-2).

The Romanian Naval Forces participate with Lt. Lupu Dinescu and Slt. Alexander Axente minesweepers, Contraamiral Eustatiu Sebastian corvette, Grigore Antipa and Venus ships for divers, Grozavul, Vartosul, Voinicul and Vanjosul tugs, Captain Commander Alexander Catuneanu hydrographic ship and a Puma Naval helicopter.

SNMCMG-2 is present in Constanta with four ships: ORP K.X. Czernicki (Poland) logistic support ship, the Commander ship of the group, and ESPS Duero (Spain), TCG Alanya (Turkey), FGS Rottweill (Germany) minesweepers. HS Evropa (Greece) and TCG Anamur (Turkey) minesweepers, and BGS Priboy (Bulgaria) tug will also participate in the exercise.

(DM30) Lieutenant Alexander Axente tugboat is also part of the SNMCMG-2 from March 4 through 24.

The Romanian Air Forces will participate in the exercise with the two MiG 21 LanceR aircraft from Borcea 86 Air Base.

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