USAREUR Commander visits troops in Romania and Moldova

April 27, 2012

By Kelly Schloesser, U.S. Army Europe


  • USAREUR Commander visits troops in Romania and Moldova

    U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling talks with Soldiers from the MRE (33rd Mountain Battalion).

  • USAREUR Commander visits troops in Romania and Moldova

    U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling talks with the female engagement team.

  • USAREUR Commander visits troops in Romania and Moldova

    U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling stands with Minister of Defense of Moldova during a press statement following the presentation of the Legion of Merit award.

  • USAREUR Commander visits troops in Romania and Moldova

    U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling talks with Soldiers from 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion and Special Forces Unit in Moldova.

  • USAREUR Commander visits troops in Romania and Moldova

    U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling visits troops in Romania with MG Ionita, LFC.

  • USAREUR Commander visits troops in Romania and Moldova

    U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling visits troops in Romania preparing for deployment to Afghanistan.

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- U.S. Army Europe Commander, Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, travelled to Romania and Moldova to meet with military and diplomatic leaders to further the U.S. military commitment to the region.

Hertling first visited Moldova, where he discussed future challenges in defense and current capabilities of security forces in Europe with the Minister of Defense, Marinuta Vitalie.

“This is my first visit to Moldova, and I am truly impressed with the professionalism of the force, their desire to contribute and their focus on growing capabilities as an Army,” said Hertling in a press statement following the meeting.

Hertling also presented the Minister of Defense with the Meritorious Service Medal. The medal was given for the ministers’ service as a strategic planner at US Central Command in support of Moldovan Soldiers who participated in humanitarian and reconstruction missions in Iraq from 2003-2008.

The USAREUR Commander later met with Soldiers of the 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion and a Special Forces unit in Chisinau where they demonstrated some of their niche capabilities, modern equipment, and most recent training.

Hertling then travelled to Romania where he was joined by, Maj. Gen. Ariton Ionita, Romanian Land Forces Commander. The commanders then participated in a briefing on current training exercises and operations, and discussed force structure, military cooperation, and future joint training events.

Following the talks, the commanders toured the Combat Training Center in Cincu, where a battalion was conducting their predeployment Mission Rehearsal Exercise in preparation for Zabul Province, Afghanistan.  Hertling praised the Romanian forces for their contribution to operations in Afghanistan.

“I witnessed first-hand this last December in the Zabul Province of Afghanistan, the professionalism, the dedication, and the courage of the Romanian Army. From the training I’ve seen today, I can tell you the Romanian Army is only growing more professional, more dedicated, and more courageous.” 

 The USAREUR Commander visited both Romanian and US troops in Afghanistan this past December. Hertling also reiterated the importance of looking forward, to a post-ISAF world in 2014, and ensure our armies are taking lessons learned from current operations and applying them to future training.

Hertling and Ionita further discussed partnership and training exchanges to include opportunities with the Joint Multinational Training Center and Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels, Germany. 

Furthering the US/Romanian partnership, the Romanian Land Forces Commander was presented with the Legion of Merit from the United States Armed Forces. The medal was given for Ionita's meritorious service as the Chief of Staff of the Romanian Land Forces, where he has been directly responsible for leading the army through its transformation and modernization program while simultaneously preparing and deploying Soldiers for combat in Afghanistan. Hertling also received the highest award from the Romanian Land Forces, the Emblem of Honor.


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