Romania builds base for US missile system

Romania builds base for US missile system

Romania builds base for US missile system

(L-R) US Vice Adm Syring, Romanian President Basescu, Miller, US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Dusa, Defense Minister shovel during the ceremony. AFP photo

Romania Oct. 28 started building a military base, which will host a U.S. ballistic missile defense system as part of the NATO system.

The plan is to have the Deveselu base in southern Romania operational in 2015. It will house SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar equipment.

‘Serious partnership’

Russia has voiced strong opposition against the missile defense plans, fearing they could jeopardize its own security. Romanian President Traian Basescu and U.S. Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Aegis Ashore missile defense system. Romanian Defense Minister Mircea Dusa said: “This is a serious partnership with the U.S. It is the first capability of its kind being deployed here in Eastern Europe.”

Romania’s participation in the NATO system constitutes the second phase of the missile defense. The first part of the system, an early warning radar station in Turkey, went operational in January 2012. Aside from Romania, other elements of the system will be built in Portugal, Poland, and Spain.