Three maritime specialists from NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM) are heading off to Bucharest in Romania to support the newest NATO Land Corps Headquarters of the Multi-National Corps South East (MNC-SE). MNC-SE, formed in December 2020 and based in Sibiu under the command of Major General Tomiță-Cătălin Tomescu, was officially activated on 16 February 2021. Lieutenant Commander Atkinson (Royal Navy), a surface warfare planner, Captain Brown (Royal Marines), a logistics specialist and Petty Officer First Class Lamfers (US Navy) have deployed on Wednesday 19 May. They join 120 staff from the UK-based Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC) in providing their expertise over the next month in a Command-Post Exercise (CPX) to help their Romania-based colleagues to develop defence and deterrence capability in the Black Sea region.
Complimenting a week-long academics program already provided to the staff of HQ MNC-SE, the personnel from ARRC and MARCOM will be supporting and mentoring MNC-SE during their first ever CPX which forms part of the US exercise Defender 21. The exercise brings together US and NATO troops stretching from the Black Sea region and the Mediterranean in the South up to the Baltic Sea region in the North.
The build-up program has brought together world-class scholars, thought leaders, and military professionals to best examine how the Alliance can meet the threats and challenges together across all its dimensions. This comprehensive package is practicing how multiple nations in the Alliance can support each other and share thinking about how they intend to operate, compete, deter, and fight together on land, air and sea. This forms part of persistent engagement efforts around NATO's borders, which is a key line of effort for NATO, MARCOM and HQ ARRC. As the staff now begin to exercise their formations during the upcoming exercise, these three MARCOM specialists will provide their knowledge and experience to MNC-SE's headquarters, increasing the maritime-land integration of NATO's defence.
Over the past several years MARCOM has already been enhancing its jointness and interaction with MNC-SE's sister Corps operating in the Baltic States and Baltic Sea Region; the Multi-National Corps North-East (MNC-NE), which is based in Szczecin, Poland. The increasingly comprehensive maritime-land Integration programme that encompasses logistics, command and control, Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, joint fires and strike, as well as amphibious operations, developed in the Baltic Sea region, now has the potential to be duplicated within MARCOM and MNC-SE for the Black Sea. This is the first engagement of the new Corps with HQ MARCOM and intends to set the scene for future joint integration and enhance the interoperability of NATO elements on land, sea and air.