Romania launches expansion of air base near Black Sea

Sursa: Facebook/Baza 57 Aeriană Mihail Kogălniceanu

The Romanian government has begun a multibillion-euro expansion and modernization project at  its Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base in eastern Romania near the Black Sea where new military equipment will be stored.

Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tîlvăr announced the move this week during a ceremony at the base which is about 190 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.

The military base has housed U.S. capabilities and forces since 1999, and the plan to expand it was approved four years before Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb. 2022.

“The reason why Romania decided to extend our capabilities here is the result of Russia invading Georgia in 2008,” and annexing Crimea in 2014,” Romanian Air Force Col. Nicolae Cretu, the base commander, told Defense News during the a NATO-led exercise.

The project will involve the construction of a new runway, a guard tower, and additional hangars to protect existing and forthcoming military assets purchased by the Black SEa NATO member and will cost an estimated  $2.7 billion, Defense News reported.

Romania received two additional Patriot batteries last year, bringing the number up to four. It is also partaking in the joint procurement of up to 1,000 Patriot PAC-2 GEM-T missiles under the European Sky Shield Initiative.

The air base’s location has proved strategic this century for NATO allies, even during the Iraq war when it was used by allies “to project force outside of their territories and over long distances,” the site said.

The MK Air Base as it is known  has hosted NATO-led Enhanced Air Policing missions.This year’s saw  first-ever deployment of Finnish F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets.

Finnish jets land in Romania to take part in NATO air shielding mission


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