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New Chief of Defence Staff to continue to strengthen combat capability of Romanian Army

The new Chief of Defence Staff, General Gheorghita Vlad, said he will remain as dedicated to the Romanian Army and will continue to strengthen the combat capability and modernise military units.

"Thank you all for attending this important moment of the Defence Staff and, implicitly, for my career development as a soldier of the country (...) By taking over the Battle Flag I assume the honourable responsibility of fulfilling at the highest level of skills the command of the force structure. (...) I remain on the path of continuity, that of accelerating the consolidation of the combat capability of the Romanian Army's force structure. I remain committed to the process of modernization of large units and units, so as to ensure maximum response capacity within the national and allied context, regardless of the security situation," said General Gheorghita Vlad.

He stressed that the evolution of the Romanian Army is anchored in the "national security triad", the membership to the North Atlantic Alliance, the European Union and the strategic partnership with the United States of America.

"We are fully committed to the principle of collective defence. We will prepare together to be able, if necessary, to defend ourselves together. We count on the appropriate response of NATO troops and capabilities, according to regional plans for crisis or war situations. Allied efforts have contributed and continue to contribute to strengthening the deterrence and defence posture, have balanced and strengthened the forward presence on the Eastern flank," said General Gheorghita Vlad.

In this context, he conveyed to his comrades that the trust that our citizens have in the army must not only be maintained, but also increased.

"Among the short and medium term objectives of the command and control structure of the Romanian Army are: to increase the ability to understand the operational environment and the level of reaction of the forces, as well as to achieve relevant capabilities to counter the full spectrum of possible risks and threats. It is imperative to rely on our own strengths and to constantly improve. We are committed to ensuring the protection of our country in the face of increasingly complex challenges. At the same time, we are determined to maintain our concern for the modernization of our own regulatory framework, focusing on the rights and duties of each military officer (...) We must accelerate the process of eliminating the differences in treatment between categories of personnel and strengthen the dignity of the status of military officer in the Romanian society," he said.

The Chief of the Defence Staff also called for the support of the Legislature in order to achieve the objectives set.

"Dear representatives of the Romanian Parliament, the Army needs your support. The modernisation of national defence is a continuous process, which must keep pace with the evolution of the security situation. In addition to the support you are giving to the essential component of endowment, thanks to the adequate budgetary allocation, we will further ask for the acceleration of the adoption of a legislation that will lead to the professionalisation of the army, that will meet the needs of defence and especially that will support the national and allied reaction according to the dynamics of regional and global security. I would like us to strengthen the human dimension, as an essential condition for tackling modern warfare," said General Gheorghita Vlad.

In his turn, the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Daniel Petrescu, thanked President Klaus Iohannis for his permanent support during his mandate, and for the award of the National Order Star of Romania granted at the end of his mandate.

He underlined that in these years dominated by complex challenges Romania has strengthened its military profile in NATO and the European Union, in its relations with the US, but also at the global level, and that internally, the Romanian Army has faced all the challenges.

General Petrescu pointed out that the 2019-2023 period was also one of investment in capabilities for the Army, a time in which more than 70 endowment programmes were set up.

"Of course, all this progress cannot be assumed by the Defence Staff alone. They have been made possible by the excellent cooperation between the structures within the team set up both at the level of the Defence Staff and the Ministry," he said.

He also sent a "best wishes" to the Romanian soldier and wished the new Chief of Defence Staff good luck.

"To all those who wear the military uniform I convey my full appreciation for their hard work, dedication, loyalty and understanding shown day after day. To all I say now; dear comrades, continue to love this country and you will be able to overcome any obstacle. I hand over today the most honourable position that a General of the Romanian Army can have in his career. Thank you again to all those who have been by my side, family, friends, colleagues, comrades. You have all contributed to everything that this mandate has meant. I would also like to thank General Gheorghita Vlad. Together we have been a team in some of the most challenging situations. I wish him success as Chief of the Defence Staff and I assure you that the Romanian Army has in him a leader and a true professional," said General Petrescu.