The Land Forces, Air Force and Naval Forces of Romania are collectively known as the Romanian Armed Forces (Romanian: Forțele Armate Române or Armata Română). The current Commander-in-chief is General Nicolae Ionel Ciuca who is managed by the Minister of National Defence while the president is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces during wartime.
As of 2017, the Armed Forces number 69,300 active personnel and 50,000 reserves, along with 79,900 in paramilitary forces. The Land Forces have a reported strength of 36,000, the Air Force 10,300, the Naval Forces 6,500, and Joint Forces 16,500. Total defence spending currently accounts for 2% of total national GDP, which represents approximately 4.04 billion US dollars. The Armed Forces are built for territorial defence, with contributions to NATO missions such as in Afghanistan a secondary priority.
|Romanian Armed Forces|
|Forțele Armate Române|
The coat of arms
|Current form||11 April 2000|
|Service branches|| Land Forces|
|Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces||Klaus Iohannis|
|Minister of National Defence||Gabriel Leş|
|Chief of the General Staff||General Nicolae Ionel Ciucă|
|Active personnel||70,300 (2018)|
|Reserve personnel||50,000 (2017)|
|Deployed personnel||2,187 (2011)|
Afghanistan - 1,821
|Budget||€4 billion (FY2018)|
|Percent of GDP||2% (FY2018)|
|Domestic suppliers||Arms industry in Romania|
|Annual exports||€177,000,000 (2014)|
|History||Military history of Romania|
|Ranks||Romanian Armed Forces ranks and insignia|
The first attempt to create an independent Romanian army was made by Gheorghe Magheru during the 1848 Wallachian Revolution, and it was based at Râureni (now part of Râmnicu Vâlcea). However, Magheru rapidly ordered his troops to disband when the Ottoman forces swept into Bucharest to stop the revolution.
The current Romanian Land Forces were formed in 1859, immediately after the unification of Wallachia with Moldavia, and were commanded by Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Domnitor of Romania until his abdication in 1866. In 1877, at the request of Nikolai Konstantinovich, Grand Duke of Russia the Romanian army fused with the Russian forces, and led by King Carol I, fought in what was to become the Romanian War of Independence. They participated in the Siege of Plevna and several other battles. The Romanians won the war, but suffered about 27,000 casualties. Until World War I, the Romanian army didn't face any other serious actions.
Romania mobilized its army on 5 July 1913, with intention of seizing Southern Dobruja, and declared war on Bulgaria on 10 July. In a diplomatic circular that said, "Romania does not intend either to subjugate the polity nor defeat the army of Bulgaria", the Romanian government endeavoured to allay international concerns about its motives and about increased bloodshed. According to Richard Hall, "the entrance of Romania into the conflict made the Bulgarian situation untenable and the Romanian thrust across the Danube was the decisive military act of the Second Balkan War."
On July 6, 1916, Romania declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary, following the initial success of the Brusilov Offensive (a major Russian offensive against the armies of the Central Powers on the Eastern Front). The Romanian armies entered Transylvania (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), together with Russian forces. However, German forces under the command of General Erich von Falkenhayn stalled the attack in November, 1916, and drove back the Romanians. At the same time, Austrian and Turkish troops invaded southern Romania, forcing the country into a two-front war. The Central Powers drove deep into Romania and conquered the south of the country (Wallachia, including Bucharest) by the end of 1916. The Romanian forces, led by Marshal Constantin Prezan, retreated into the north-east part of Romania (Moldavia). In the summer of 1917 however, Prezan, aided by the future Marshal, General Ion Antonescu, successfully defended the remaining unoccupied territories against German and Austro-Hungarian forces led by Field Marshal August von Mackensen. General Alexandru Averescu led the Second Army in the victories of the Battle of Mărăşti (July 22 to August 1, 1917) and the Battle of Mărăşeşti (August 6 to September 8, 1917). As a result of the Russian Revolution, Romania was left isolated and unable to continue the war, and was forced to sign the Treaty of Bucharest with the Central Powers. Later on, in 1919, Germany agreed, in the Treaty of Versailles Article 259, to renounce all the benefits provided to it by the Treaty of Bucharest in 1918. After the successful offensive on the Thessaloniki front, which put Bulgaria out of the war, Romania re-entered the war on November 10, 1918, a day before its end in the West.
After General (later Marshal) Ion Antonescu took power in September 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact with the Axis Powers and subsequently took part in Operation Barbarossa in 1941. An expeditionary force invaded the Soviet Union in Bessarabia and southern Ukraine, alongside the German Wehrmacht. The expeditionary force, 'Army Group Antonescu,' was composed on 22 June 1941 of the 3rd Army, the 4th Army, the 2nd Army Corps, and the 11th Infantry Division. The 3rd Army comprised the 4th Army Corps (6th and 7th Infantry Divisions), the Cavalry Corps, the Mountain Corps, two separate artillery battalion, a TA unit, and the Air Force's 3rd Army Cooperation Command. The 4th Army consisted of the 3rd Army Corps, the 5th Army Corps, the 11th Army Corps (two fortress brigades), and the 4th Army Cooperation Command. The army group-level 2nd Army Corps, under Major General N. Macici, controlled the 9th and 10th Infantry Divisions and the 7th Cavalry Brigade. Additionally the 1st Armoured Division was formed for service on the Eastern Front. The Army Group's first offensive, in conjunction with the Eleventh Army, Operation Munchen, enabled Romania to retake the territory immediately east of the Dnister, former part of Moldavia. The Romanian Armies saw their first major battles at Odessa and Sevastopol, and in 1942 advanced with other Axis forces deeper into Soviet territory during Operation Blue.
The greatest disaster for the Romanian expeditionary force on the Eastern Front came at Stalingrad, where, during the Soviet counter-offensive of November 1942, the thinly spread forces of the Third Army (deployed north of Stalingrad) and of the Fourth Army (deployed south of Stalingrad) were attacked by vastly superior Soviet forces and suffered combined losses of some 158,000 personnel.
During April–May 1944 the Romanian forces led by General Mihai Racoviţǎ, together with elements of the German Eighth Army were responsible for defending Northern Romania during the Soviet First Jassy-Kishinev Offensive, and took part in the Battles of Târgu Frumos. In late August 1944, the Red Army entered eastern Romania. On August 23, 1944, a coup led by King Michael I of Romania deposed Marshal Antonescu and set up a pro-Soviet government. It has been estimated that the royal coup shortened the war by six months. Romania soon declared war on Nazi Germany, and the First and Fourth Armies were pressed into action. After the expelling of the last Wehrmacht remnants from Romania, the Romanian Armies took part in the Siege of Budapest and the Prague Offensive of May 1945.
After the Romanian Communist Party seized power, the Armed Forces of Romania was reformed to mirror the soviet model. It was reestablished as the Romanian People's Army (Romanian: Armata Populară Română) under the supervision of Minister of Defence, Emil Bodnăraş. Between 1955 and 1991, the Romanian People's Army took part in events of the Warsaw Pact, of which Romania was a member. During this period, the army was supplied with weapons and equipment from the Soviet Union. From 1947 to 1960, the country divided into 3 military regions: Western (Cluj), Eastern (Bacău), and South (Bucharest).
In 1980 the Romanian Army was reorganized in 4 Army Commands: 1st (Bucharest), 2nd (Buzau), 3rd (Craiova) and 4th (Cluj-Napoca). In the four Army Commands were 8 Mechanized Divisions, 2 Tank Divisions and 1 Tank Brigade, as well as 4 Brigades of Mountain Hunters (specialized motorized infantry bands).
In 1989 the Romanian Army had, as armored equipment, a total of 2715 combat vehicles: 945 outdated (soviet WW-2 type) T-34-85 tanks, 790 soviet and czechoslovak T-55/-55A/-55AM tanks, 415 romanian built TR-77-580, 535 romanian built TR-85-800 and 30 soviet T-72 "Ural-1" tanks.
The Land Forces have overhauled their equipment in recent years, and are today a modern army with multiple NATO capabilities. They are participating in a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, together with the other NATO countries. The Land Forces are at present planning on replacing the TAB APC vehicles with new armored personnel carriers produced in conjunction with the Germany company Rheinmetall. The Air Force currently operates modernized Soviet MiG-21 LanceR fighters, which are due to be replaced by modernized ex-Portuguese F-16 fighters starting with 2016. In the first stage a first squadron of 12 fighter aircraft will be acquired and a second squadron of another 12 aircraft  will follow by 2020. The Air Force has also received 7 new C-27J Spartan tactical airlift aircraft, in order to replace the bulk of the old transport force. Two modernized ex-Royal Navy Type 22 frigates were acquired by the Naval Forces in 2004 and a further four modern missile corvettes will be commissioned in the next few years. Three domestically-produced IAR 330 Puma NAVAL helicopters were also ordered by the Naval Forces, and were commissioned in late 2008.
The new armed forces include 69,300 military personnel. Some 36,000 make up the Romanian Land Forces, 10,300 serve as the Romanian Air Force and 6,500 are in the Romanian Naval Forces; the remaining 16,500 serve in other fields.
The Romanian Military will essentially undergo a three-stage restructuring. As of 2017, the first two stages have been completed. 2015 marked the end of the second stage when the armed forces reached a superior compatibility with NATO forces. In 2025, the long-term stage is to be completed. The stages aim at modernising the structure of the armed forces, reducing the personnel as well as acquiring newer and more improved technology that is compatible with NATO standards.
The military sees obsolete Soviet-era equipment as a major limitation and intends to replace its MiG-21 fighters by 2020 and buy modern combat helicopters, according to an August 2017 government plan. Romania is also set to acquire the MIM-104 Patriot air defence system, armored vehicles, corvettes and US M142 HIMARS rocket artillery.
Romanian troops participated in the occupation of Iraq, reaching a peak of 730 soldiers before being slowly drawn down to 350 soldiers. Romania terminated its mission in Iraq and withdrew its last troops on July 24, 2009.
Romania currently has troops deployed in Afghanistan, and is planning to nearly double its troop strength there to 1,800 by September 2010, according to an announcement made by President Traian Basescu in Prague on April 8, 2010.
The following Romanian institutions have military status but are not part of the Armed Forces:
Before 1989, Romania was among the top ten arms exporters in the world, however its arms industry declined considerably during the 1990s. Exports fell from roughly $1 billion before 1989 to about $43 million in 2006, and the number of employees also fell from 220,000 in 1990 to 20,000 in 2009. Sales to the Romanian Armed Forces have plunged after Romania's accession to NATO in 2004, as factories continue to produce Warsaw Pact-caliber weapons and ammunition, which are incompatible with their Western counterparts. There have also been criticisms related to the quality of Romania's military products, due to the obsolescence of factory equipment and production methods. The Cugir weapons plant, for example, still uses some machinery dated from 1890.As of 2009, sales are roughly evenly divided between the Romanian state and foreign customers such as European Union and Arab countries such as Egypt, Algeria and Iraq. Other countries which have shown interest in Romanian equipment include Afghanistan, Israel, Switzerland, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, India, Georgia and a slew of African countries. There have been some signs of slight recovery, with exports reaching €141 million in 2009. However, the arms industry in Romania still lags behind neighboring countries such as Ukraine, Bulgaria and Serbia.In recent years, the Romanian government has called, unsuccessfully, for the lifting of the European Union arms embargo on the People's Republic of China.Chief of the Romanian General Staff
The Chief of General Staff (Romanian: Şeful Statului Major General) is the highest professional military authority in the Romanian Armed Forces. He is appointed by the President of Romania, at the National Defense Minister’s proposal (with the approval of the Prime Minister) on a four-year period, with the possibility of one year extension. The Deputy Chief of General Staff or one of the Chiefs of the Services can be appointed in this position.Constantin Prezan
Constantin Prezan (January 27, 1861 – August 27, 1943) was a Romanian general during World War I and a Marshal of Romania afterward.
Born in Butimanu, Dâmbovița County, Prezan graduated from the officers' infantry and cavalry school in Bucharest and the École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr. Made a second lieutenant in 1880, he rose to captain in 1887. A military engineering specialist, he took part in the Second Balkan War.General Prezan commanded the 4th Army Corps in 1915-1916, and then became head of the Romanian Fourth Army during the Romanian Campaign later in 1916. Prezan led the Romanian Armed Forces as it retreated into the northeastern part of Romania (Moldavia), and also in the Battle of Bucharest (November 1916). In July and August 1917, Prezan, who was by then Chief of the General Staff (and assisted by the then-Lieutenant-Colonel Ion Antonescu) successfully stopped the German invasion led by Field Marshal August von Mackensen. He continued serving in this position until 1920.
Documents found in military archives have brought to light Prezan's role in creating the Romanian National State. During the campaign of 1916, Prezan was rewarded with the Mihai Viteazu Order, Third Class for deeds of merit, courage, and devotion. In the summer of 1917, when he commanded the General Army Quarters, Prezan was honoured with Mihai Viteazu Order, Second Class.
During the Hungarian–Romanian War (November 1918- March 1920), Prezan led the Romanian Armed Forces in the battles of Bessarabia, Bukovina, and Transylvania. King Ferdinand awarded his outstanding service with the Mihai Viteazu Order, First Class.
Prezan was promoted as Marshal of Romania in 1930.
A major boulevard in Bucharest is named after him.David Popescu
David Popescu (25 May 1886, Comarnic – 1955) was the brigadier general of the 11th Infantry Division of the Romanian Armed Forces from January 1, 1940 to August 31, 1941. Before this, he served briefly as the Minister of Internal Affairs from July 4, 1940 to September 4, 1940. He was arrested and held in custody in 1950 and released in 1953.Decorations of the Romanian Armed Forces
The Ministry of National Defence awards honorific decorations to show appreciation for conduct in mission. This decorations are not included in the Romanian System of Orders and Medals. The decorations consist of emblems, honorific insignia, plaques, honorific titles and service distinctions.Equipment of the Romanian Armed Forces
This is a list of equipment of the Romanian Armed Forces currently in service and storageHeavy artillery in the Royal Romanian Armed Forces
Throughout the existence of the Kingdom of Romania, its Army and Navy employed numerous pieces of heavy artillery (150 mm or greater).List of generals of the Romanian Armed Forces
This article provides a list of general officers and field marshalls of the Romanian Armed Forces, along with an overview of their service, major battles and awards, and other select biographical details. A general officer, or general, is an officer of high rank in an army. The Romanian Armed Forces have four ranks of general officer, in ascending order of rank: Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, General.
In cases of exceptional military service, the President of Romania may award a general the rank of Mareșal, or Marshall of Romania, the highest military rank in the Romanian Armed Forces.Mareșal (Romania)
Mareșal (Marshal) is the highest rank in the Army of Romania, the Romanian Armed Forces. It is the equivalent of a Field Marshal in other countries.
The rank of mareșal can only be bestowed to a General or Admiral (Romanian: amiral), in time of war for exceptional military merits, by the President of Romania and confirmed by the Supreme Council of National Defense.Only three non-royal persons were bestowed the rank mareșal to date: Alexandru Averescu, Constantin Prezan, and Ion Antonescu. The first two were Generals during World War I, and the last was General during World War II, and Ruler of Romania between the abdication of King Carol II (6 September 1940) and his arrest by King Michael I (23 August 1944). Of the Romanian kings, Ferdinand I, Carol II and Michael I were Marshals of Romania. King Carol I was simultaneously Russian and German Field Marshal.National Legionary State
The National Legionary State was a totalitarian fascist regime which governed Romania for five months, from 14 September 1940 until its official dissolution on 14 February 1941. The regime was led by General Ion Antonescu in partnership with the Iron Guard, an ultra-nationalist, antisemitic, antiziganist, anti-communist, anti-capitalist and promoted Eastern Orthodox Christianity party. Though the Iron Guard had been in the Romanian Government since 28 June 1940, on 14 September it achieved dominance, leading to the proclamation of the National Legionary State.
On 27 September 1940, Romania withdrew from the Balkan Pact. On 8 October, German troops began crossing into Romania, and soon numbered over 500,000. On 23 November Romania formally joined the Axis powers. On 27 November, 64 former dignitaries or officials were executed by the Iron Guard in the Jilava Massacre. The already harsh anti-Semitic legislation was expanded, included the expropriation of Jewish-owned rural property on 4 October, followed by forests on 17 November, and finally by river transport on 4 December.On 20 January 1941, the Iron Guard attempted a coup, combined with a pogrom against the Jews of Bucharest. Within four days, Antonescu had successfully suppressed the coup, and the Iron Guard was forced out of the government. Sima and many other Legionnaires took refuge in Germany, while others were imprisoned. Antonescu formally abolished the National Legionary State on 14 February 1941.Prunaru Charge
The Prunaru Charge (Romanian: Şarja de la Prunaru) was one of the most daring actions of the Romanian Armed Forces in World War I. The cavalry charge took place on November 28 [O.S. November 15] 1916 in Prunaru (today part of Bujoreni commune, Teleorman County), and was a component operation of the Battle of Bucharest.RoAF 57th Air Base
The Romanian Air Force 57th Air Base (Baza 57 Aeriană) was an air base located near Constanţa, at the Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport. The base was disbanded in August 2004 due to the Romanian Armed Forces reorganisation program and the retirement of the MiG-29s, which were based there.
The military sector of the Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport is currently an annex of the 86th Air Base.RoAF 71st Air Base
The Romanian Air Force 71st Air Base (Baza 71 Aeriană) is located near the city of Câmpia Turzii, in Cluj County. The 71st Airbase was founded on 1 June 2002, according to the Romanian Armed Forces reorganization program.
Since its foundation, the unit has become one of the best units of the Air Force thanks to the pilots' proficiency in carrying out flight missions, day and night and all-weather, and to the responsibility of the logistic support personnel.
In January 2001, the unit received the first MIG-21 LanceR fighter planes, and the pilots started the transition to the new model.
The base is home to the 711st, 712nd Fighter squadrons, operating MiG-21 LanceRs and to the 713rd, 714th Helicopter squadrons, operating IAR-330s.RoAF 93rd Air Base
The Romanian Air Force 93rd Air Base (Baza 93 Aeriană) was an air base located near Timişoara, at the Giarmata Airport (Traian Vuia International). The base was disbanded in August 2004 due to the Romanian Armed Forces reorganisation program and the retirement of the MiG-23s which were based here.
The military sector of the Traian Vuia International Airport is currently an annex of the 71st Air Base hosting the 714th Helicopter Squadron (operating IAR-330L).Romania in World War II
Following the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the Kingdom of Romania under King Carol II officially adopted a position of neutrality. However, the rapidly changing situation in Europe during 1940, as well as domestic political upheaval, undermined this stance. Fascist political forces such as the Iron Guard rose in popularity and power, urging an alliance with Nazi Germany and its allies. As the military fortunes of Romania's two main guarantors of territorial integrity—France and Britain—crumbled in the Fall of France, the government of Romania turned to Germany in hopes of a similar guarantee, unaware that the then dominant European power had already granted its consent to Soviet territorial claims in a secret protocol of 1939's Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
In summer 1940 a series of territorial disputes were diplomatically resolved unfavorably to Romania, resulting in the loss of most of the territory gained in the wake of World War I. This caused the popularity of Romania's government to plummet, further reinforcing the fascist and military factions, who eventually staged a coup that turned the country into a dictatorship under Mareșal Ion Antonescu. The new regime firmly set the country on a course towards the Axis camp, officially joining the Axis powers on 23 November 1940. As a member of the Axis, Romania joined the invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, providing equipment and oil to Nazi Germany as well as committing more troops to the Eastern Front than all the other allies of Germany combined. Romanian forces played a large role during fighting in Ukraine, Bessarabia, Stalingrad and elsewhere. Romanian troops were responsible for the persecution and massacre of up to 260,000 Jews in Romanian-controlled territories, though most Jews living within Romania survived the harsh conditions. According to historian and author Mark Axworthy, the second Axis army in Europe, arguably, belonged to Romania, though, this is disputed since many would agree that this position goes to the Italian army.After the tide of war turned against the Axis, Romania was bombed by the Allies from 1943 onwards and invaded by advancing Soviet armies in 1944. With popular support for Romania's participation in the war faltering and German-Romanian fronts collapsing under the Soviet onslaught, King Michael of Romania led a coup d'état that deposed the Antonescu regime and put Romania on the side of the Allies for the remainder of the war. Despite this late association with the winning side, Greater Romania was largely dismantled, losing territory to Bulgaria and the Soviet Union, but regaining Northern Transylvania from Hungary.Romanian Air Force
The Romanian Air Force (Romanian: Forțele Aeriene Române) is the air force branch of the Romanian Armed Forces. It has an air force headquarters, an operational command, four air bases and an air defense brigade. Reserve forces include two air bases and three airfields.
In 2010, the Romanian Air Force employed 9,700 personnel.Romanian Armed Forces ranks and insignia
The Romanian Armed Forces ranks and insignia are the military insignia used by the Romanian Armed Forces.Southern Transylvania
Southern Transylvania was a region of the Kingdom of Romania between 1940 and 1944, during World War II. The region of Transylvania, belonging entirely to Romania when the war started in 1939, was split in 1940 between Romania and Hungary, with the latter taking Northern Transylvania in the aftermath of the Second Vienna Award.Ștefan Gușă
Ștefan Gușă or Gușe (17 April 1940 – 28 March 1994) was a Romanian general who was the Chief of the General Staff of the Romanian Armed Forces between 1986 and 1989.