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Romanian, U.S., British Troops Stage NATO-Planned Exercises

Some 2,200 Romanian, U.S., British, and Moldovan troops will take part in military exercises in Romania, close to the Ukrainian border, beginning this week.

Wind Spring 15 will start on April 16 and continue until April 30 at two locations in southeastern Romania -- the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base near the Black Sea port of Constanta and the Smardan shooting range.

Defense Minister Mircea Dusa said on April 15 that Romania will stage more than 340 exercises this year, many jointly organized with NATO and partners from the European Union.

Romanian soldiers on April 15 tested their readiness at Smardan, 250 kilometers northeast of Bucharest, and went through a practice run ahead of the two weeks of exercises.

Dusa said the exercises are part of a plan approved at NATO's 2014 summit to reinforce the eastern flank of NATO and the EU that border Ukraine.

He noted the presence of a U.S. destroyer in Constanta and 12 U.S. Air Force A-10 planes at the Campia Turzii airfield in northwest Romania.

Based on reporting by AP and