US, Romanian troops conduct joint drills on NATO’s eastern flank

US troops recently deployed to NATO’s eastern border carried out exercises with their Romanian counterparts at an air base near the Black Sea coast on Saturday.

The 101st Airborne Division’s troops deployed from helicopters and carried out combat exercises as helicopters and jets flew in formation.

The division's commander, Major General Joseph McGee, said the deployment of troops to countries across NATO’s south-eastern flank showed the “ironclad” commitment of the US to its allies' defence.

“We are only 198 miles (318 km) from the fighting that is raging today in Kherson, Ukraine, which means that our deployment to Romania makes us the most forward-deployed force in the United States military,” he pointed out.

Troops from the 101st Airborne began arriving in Romania at the end of June as part of a mission to bolster NATO forces in the region, reassure allies and deter further Russian aggression, the US Army in Europe said on its website.

The US and other western members of NATO deployed more troops to members on the alliance's eastern flank both in reaction to Russia’s build-up on Ukraine’s borders and its invasion in February.