Military Capabilities

‘BALTOPS’ sees Romania exercise amphibious capability outside Black Sea region for first time

12 June 2018
AAVs head for the beach at Ustka, Poland during ‘BALTOPS 18’. Romanian and US marines conducted amphibious assaults at Ustka and at Klaipeda, Lithuania. Source: Lee Willett

Key Points

  • Romania has sent naval infantry to participate in ‘BALTOPS 2018’, conducting amphibious training for the first time beyond the Black Sea region
  • In exercise serials, Romanian forces deployed ashore from USN platforms to conduct two amphibious landings and to recover a downed pilot

Romanian marine forces have conducted amphibious training operations outside the Black Sea region for the first time during NATO’s ‘Baltic Operations’ (‘BALTOPS’) 2018 exercise, which is running from 1-15 June in the Baltic Sea.

A platoon and a recce team from F Company, 307th Naval Infantry Battalion joined US Marine Corps (USMC) forces to conduct two amphibious landings in the exercise at Klaipeda, Lithuania, and Ustka, Poland. In the former, the USMC and Romanian units deployed ashore to work with Lithuanian land forces for two days. In the Ustka landing, the exercise’s main amphibious serial, the two forces worked together ashore for six days, alongside Polish land forces, conducting live fire training and small unit tactics.

“For us, it is the first amphibious operations practice outside the Black Sea,” Romanian marine unit commander Major Alexandru Vasile told media during ‘BALTOPS’. Romanian marines have exercised outside the Black Sea region before, he added, but not in conducting amphibious operations.

For the two landings, Romanian forces deployed ashore from the US Navy’s (USN’s) Whidbey Island-class landing ship dock (LSD) vessel USS Oak Hill in USMC amphibious assault vehicles. They also participated in a sea-based joint personnel recovery (JPR) serial from Oak Hill ; such serials were included in ‘BALTOPS’ for the first time in 2018.

The Romanian troops also spent time onboard the Polish Project 767 Lublin-class landing ship tank (LST) platform ORP Krakow.

The Romanian marines came equipped with small weapons and individual protection gear, communications sets, and two assault boats.

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