Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System opens in Romania

The Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System in Romania was deemed as operationally certified in a ceremony held in Deveselu, May 12, and thereby marked a key milestone to complete Phase II of the European Phased Adaptive Approach.

This ballistic missile defense system represents an increase in the capability to defend NATO European territory from attacks originating outside the Euro-Atlantic area, and is a key milestone in the development of NATO ballistic missile defense.

Adm. Mark Ferguson, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, said: “Today, this site joins the four U.S. guided missile destroyers in Rota, Spain in reaching Phase II of the European Phased Adaptive Approach. As we cut the ribbon, the watchteams are trained and ready, the system has been tested, and we are now in the progress of integrating this site into the NATO integrated Air and Missile Defense Architecture.”

On Sept. 17, 2009, President Obama announced the concept of EPAA, which calls for using Aegis-based BMD capabilities, both afloat and ashore, to defend Europe against ballistic missile threats originating from outside the Euro-Atlantic Area.

The site first broke ground Oct. 28, 2013. At a ceremony hosted by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dec. 18, 2015, U.S. and Romanian government officials announced the major military components of the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System in Romania were complete and had been transferred to the Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet.

Since that time the AAMDS-Romania site and U.S. Navy crew achieved operational certification through a series of unit-level and theater-level tests and exercises conducted over the past five months, which validated the system’s capability to integrate into the U.S. and NATO BMD architecture.

Construction of a second Aegis Ashore site in Poland is part of the final phase of EPAA. The ground breaking is scheduled for May 13.