U.S. and Romanian defense leaders, as well as NATO officials helped break ground on a new missile defense complex in Romania Oct. 28 that is scheduled to become operational by the end of 2015.
The Aegis Ashore complex is covered under a September 2011 agreement between the U.S. and Romania to establish a site in Romania for land-based Standard Missile-3 interceptors and is part two of three-phase missile defense program in Europe, the U.S. Navy said in a Monday release.
Phase one of the European Phased Adaptive Approach had the U.S. deploy ships with the Aegis Ballistic Missile System and SM-3 interceptors to the Mediterranean Sea in 2011 and a missile-defense radar in Turkey.
For phase three, the U.S. plans to establish another Aegis Ashore site in Poland in 2018.
Representing the U.S. for the groundbreaking ceremony at Deveselu were James Miller, defense undersecretary for policy; Frank Rose, deputy assistant secretary of space; and Navy Vice Adm. James Syring, Missile Defense Agency director.
Mircea Dusa, Romania’s defense minister, and NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow also attended the event.
Deveselu Air Base in Romania hosts the new Aegis Ashore site at a 430-acre facility that is built with a fire-control radar deckhouse and an associated Aegis command, control and communications suite.
The Defense Department estimates nearly U.S. military personnel, government civilians and contractors will operate that complex.