Strategically located on the Black Sea, Romania is a key US ally in southeastern Europe. The country has enjoyed a period of calm since joining NATO and the EU in the early 2000s. However, the region is becoming increasingly unstable and volatile due to Russian aggression and terrorist attacks. Romania’s neighbor, Ukraine, is engaged in an open conflict with Russian-backed fighters. And Moldova, Romania’s other neighbor to the east, continues to deal with a festering frozen conflict with the Russian-occupied breakaway region of Transnistria. Understanding the reality of regional threats, Romania has pledged to meet its NATO obligations and is taking active steps to improve their military readiness. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) and Spirit of America are partnering with the Romanians to ensure their stability and progress continue and that they remain capable of contributing to both regional and international security.
The Romanian military and SOCEUR are working together to establish a Romanian Special Operations training center that will produce elite Romanian Special Forces soldiers capable of partnering with US soldiers on a level never before seen between the two countries. The first ever Romanian Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) will take place later this year. The program’s ambitious timeline is progressing faster than the US government or Romania can allocate funds to meet every need, and some gaps have arisen. One such gap is lensatic compasses for candidates to use during the rigorous land navigation portion of the assessment and selection. The land navigation course, which mirrors the US Army’s SFQC event, will test candidates both mentally and physically. Selecting the right candidates to continue the training process is a critical first step toward ensuring that the schoolhouse can produce high-quality graduates.
Filling this critical need will directly support the US soldiers working to build Romanian Special Operations Forces while strengthening America’s alliance with a partner nation.