NATO Holds War Games Miles From Ukraine’s Border

April 2nd, 2023 - by Kyle Anzalone / The Libertarian Institute & Military Times

NATO military exercise underway inside Rumania.

NATO Holds War Games
Miles From Ukraine’s Border
Kyle Anzalone / The Libertarian Institute

(March 30, 2023) — The US and its NATO partners are conducting military drills in a region of Romania that borders Ukraine. Thousands of soldiers will gather to simulate repelling an invasion on the Black Sea coastline.

Dubbed “Sea Shield 23,” the war games kicked off on March 20 and will run until April 2. The US and 11 other NATO countries are participating in the Romanian-led military exercises.

Nearly 3,500 soldiers, 30 naval ships, 14 aircraft and 15 other “fast intervention” boats are participating in the live-fire operations, which will occur in the Black Sea and Romania’s Danube Delta. Troops taking part in the Sea Shield drills will come within 20 miles of the Ukrainian border.

“The multinational exercise ‘Sea Shield 2023’ is the most complex training event, planned and conducted by the Romanian Naval Forces, through the Naval Component Command, in the 2023 training year,” the Romanian Navy said in a press release.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US has conducted several rounds of war games in Eastern Europe to simulate a similar conflict and develop strategies for Kiev.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported that last summer, the Joe Biden administration used the cover of war games in the Baltic Sea to plant explosives on the Nord Stream pipelines. In September, those explosives were detonated destroying the natural gas pipelines linking Russia and Germany.

Over the past year, the North Atlantic alliance has increased its force posture in what it regards as its “eastern flank,” which is made up of eight countries that stretch from the Baltics to the Black Sea, including Romania.

NATO is concurrently conducting the “Crystal Arrow 23” war games in Latvia, which will see Danish soldiers train Riga’s Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

Romanian naval commandos on the river Danube.

NATO, US Forces Join Romania-led
Black Sea Military Drills
Military Times & The Associated Press

MAHMUDIA, Romania (March 30, 2023) — Romania’s navy led multinational military drills in the Black Sea region Thursday that brought together U.S. and NATO troops as the 30-nation alliance looks to boost security on its southeastern flank amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The sea and air exercises are part of a series of drills known as Sea Shield 2023 that involve some 3,400 military personnel from 12 NATO member countries and some partner nations.

Romania’s navy said Thursday’s drills in the Mahmudia region of the Danube Delta, which flows into the Black Sea, would demonstrate how the combined forces would “neutralize an enemy air landing” in an area adjacent to such a waterway.

More than 30 naval ships, 14 aircraft and 15 “fast intervention” boats and other patrol vessels are taking part in Sea Shield 2023, which started March 20 and runs until April 2. Anti-explosive divers have participated in drills, as have chemical, biological, and nuclear defense specialists.

In response to Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, NATO bolstered its presence on Europe’s eastern flank by sending additional multinational battlegroups to alliance members Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Slovakia.

Romania, which joined NATO in 2004, has played an increasingly large role in the alliance throughout the war, including hosting a NATO meeting of foreign ministers in November.

Last month, U.S. and French troops that are part of a NATO battlegroup in Romania held joint combat drills at the Black Sea training range in Capu Midia. The drills involved some 350 battlegroup troops who practiced firing live ammunition from a U.S.-made multiple rocket launcher. Ukraine’s military has used the HIMARS system in the fight against Russia.

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