Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Navy: Sailors laying groundwork for missile shield in Romania

Navy: Sailors laying groundwork for missile shield in Romania: The first sailors are now on station at the controversial missile defense shield in Romania, Navy Region Europe announced Monday.

The sailors arrived last month as part of an initial wave that will "lay the groundwork for a full team deployment."

The announcement means the AEGIS Ashore missile defense facility in Deveselu is a step closer to becoming operational. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly condemned the facility, claiming the shield is aimed at upsetting the strategic balance of power in Europe.

Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Lewis, the executive officer for the AEGIS Ashore Missile Defense System, said the advance team is setting up procedures and organizing workflow for the new facility.

"There's real value in actually seeing the facility first hand and formulating how you want to do business based on first-hand experience," Lewis said. "We can also liaison with the base team to formulate procedures and memorandums and understanding between us."