Commander of NATO Allied Maritime Command visits Bulgaria and Romania
Bucharest, Romania - The Commander of NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), Vice Admiral Peter Hudson, CBE, wrapped up three days of staff talks in Bulgaria and Romania today. The official visits were held in conjunction with the conclusion of Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO Task Unit 02 (SNMG2 TU.02) port visit to Varna, Bulgaria, as part of ongoing NATO efforts to assure Allies on the eastern borders of the Alliance.
During the visit to Varna, Vice Admiral Hudson met with the Bulgarian Minister of Defence, Dr. Velizar Shalamanov, the Bulgarian Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Dimitar Denev, and the Bulgarian General Staff, followed by a visit to SNMG2 TU.02 ships HMCS TORONTO and ESPS ALMIRANTE JUAN DE BORBON.
In Bucharest, Vice Admiral Hudson met with the Romanian Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Stefan Danila, the State Secretary for Defence Policy and Planning, Mr. Valeriu Nicut, the Romanian Navy Chief of Training and Doctrine, Rear Admiral Constantin Ciorobea, and the Romanian Naval Staff.
Topics of discussion in both countries included maritime security in the Black Sea, increased NATO presence in the Black Sea, exercise participation (both national and NATO-led), participation in NATO's counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR and counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD, and force contributions to NATO's Standing Naval Forces.
"Close coordination between MARCOM and individual Allied navies is critical to our ability to operate together, and Bulgarian and Romanian naval contributions to Allied Standing Naval Forces are of utmost importance," said Vice Admiral Hudson. "Our Allies on the Black Sea are on the front line of an increasingly complicated maritime area following Russia's destabilizing actions in Ukraine. NATO presence at sea is essential to assuring our Allies that NATO's solidarity and commitment to collective defence are absolutes."