Monday, June 22, 2015

Marine Ospreys reassure allies amid Russian saber-rattling

Marine Ospreys reassure allies amid Russian saber-rattling: The Marine Corps' MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor recently completed its first deployment to Romania as part of a multinational training exercise with European allies.

The aircraft's deployment sent a strong message about U.S. commitment in Eastern Europe, calming allies as they work to counter Russian saber-rattling, said Brig. Gen. Norm Cooling, the deputy commander of Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa.

"Exercises like Atlantic Resolve reassures our allies and deters [Russian President Vladimir] Putin in what he is doing," Cooling said, referring to a host of Marine training initiatives involving NATO allies, including operations by the Black Sea Rotational Force in Romania.

Escalating tensions in the region and ongoing intervention by Russia in Ukraine has some former Eastern Bloc countries — today close U.S. allies — nervous.

"If it is of concern to our allies, it should concern us because of our Article Five obligations," Cooling added, referring to the NATO agreement under which U.S. forces are obligated to respond to an attack on one of our allies. "Ideally Russia is not an adversary — if it turns around in Ukraine and gets back to their end of Cold War democratic transition to peaceful capitalism."