A top NATO commander says the alliance will briefly move a joint force command headquarters to Romania.
The Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) based in Naples, Italy, will relocate to Cincu, in central Romania, for 12 days next month to support a NATO exercise involving 1,000 troops from 21 NATO states, said its commander, U.S. Admiral Mark Ferguson.
Speaking during a two-day visit to Bucharest, Ferguson said the move, which had been planned for one year, "will be the first time a NATO Joint Force Command headquarters has deployed to Romania."
Some 350 JFC staff members will test their ability to command and control a multinational exercise from a forward position.
Ferguson said the deployment had been planned for one year.
"We are concerned with the deployment of advanced missile systems into Crimea by the Russians and the deployment of advanced fighter aircraft and the increase of forces there, which we think threaten the security of the Black Sea," he told the media.
He said the U.S.-led missile defense shield in southern Romania, which has been criticized by Russia, is intended to defend NATO from attacks from the south.