Work Helps to Inaugurate Ballistic Missile Defense Site in Romania
Helps to Inaugurate Ballistic Missile Defense Site in Romania
By Lisa Ferdinando, DoD News, Defense Media
Deveselu, Romania — (DoD News) — May 12, 2016 — Deputy Defense Secretary
Bob Work helped to inaugurate the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense site
here today, citing threats from Iran as a reason why NATO needs the protection.
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work arrives at the Aegis Ashore inauguration
ceremony in Deveselu, Romania, May 12, 2016. The site part of NATO's ballistic
missile defense system aimed at protecting the 28 members of the alliance.
"As long as Iran continues to develop and deploy ballistic missiles, the
United States will work with our allies and partners to defend NATO and its
allies against this threat," Work said at the site, located on a former Romanian
Iran has been very aggressive in ballistic missile development, which is
extremely troubling to the 28-member NATO alliance, Work said. NATO Secretary
General Jens Stoltenberg described today's dedication as an "important day for
NATO and for trans-Atlantic security."
The Aegis Ashore site will further boost NATO's ability to counter the threat
from ballistic missiles, Stoltenberg said. "The threat to NATO allies from
missiles outside the Euro-Atlantic area is real," he added. "Several countries
are seeking to develop or acquire them."
Today’s ceremony marked operational certification of the Deveselu site, which
has radar and interceptors to provide ballistic-missile deterrent coverage of
Work and other officials will attend a groundbreaking ceremony tomorrow in
Redzikowo, Poland, for a second Aegis Ashore site. Both sites are part of NATO's
ballistic missile defense system aimed at protecting the 28 members of the
NATO Ballistic Missile Defense Not Aimed At Russia
The NATO ballistic missile defense system is to protect alliance countries
from any short- and medium-range attacks from outside the Euro-Atlantic region,
Work said. It is not aimed at countering any Russian threat, he emphasized.
"This site, nor the site in Poland, has any capability -- none whatsoever --
to undermine Russia’s strategic deterrent," Work said. "It is a defensive
system. It is fully compliant with existing arms control regimes."
Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said the site in his country is "defensive
and not offensive."
The NATO secretary general said Russian officials know the system is not
directed at their country. He added that Moscow knows that geography and physics
make it "impossible" for the system to undermine Russia’s strategic deterrent.
Protection for NATO Countries
The Aegis Ashore site is the land-based capability of the Aegis ballistic
missile defense system, officials said. It is part of NATO's larger ballistic
missile defense system.
Turkey hosts the ballistic missile defense tracking radar, officials said.
The NATO command-and-control center is in Germany, and four U.S. Aegis ballistic
missile defense ships are homeported in Rota, Spain.
In addition, the United Kingdom is investing in ground-based radar, while
Denmark and the Netherlands are upgrading their frigates with new radar, Work
"All of these complementary efforts will provide both a quantitative and
qualitative increase in NATO’s [ballistic missile defense] capability and the
capacity to strengthen NATO’s defensive capabilities," he said.
'Special Importance' of Event
At the ceremony in the countryside about 100 miles west of Bucharest, the
Romanian prime minister noted the importance of the day.
"Our presence here is a testament to the special importance of this moment
for both Romania and the United States, and the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization and European security at large," he said.
(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)
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