The Romanian troops deployed to Afghanistan have worn ergonomic bulletproof vests for more than three months, and soon they will have also a new a model of lighter and more flexible boots, adapted to the weather conditions in that country.
"The Romanian pieces of gear have been modified permanently, based on lessons learnt in the theatres of operations (...) Last year, in December, we finished an upgrading stage of the vests, we made them ergonomic, because they had some difficult elements in terms of usage. For a wounded soldier, it was very difficult to take out the vest because he had to pull it over his head. The protection gear of Land Forces is adequate to theatres of operations. Lately, several researches have been done and now we are testing a new type of boots because also the boots had some problems. It is hard to have comfortable gear. The new boots are slightly lighter, with more comfortable soles," Brigade General Mihai Ciungu, chief of Instruction and Doctrine Department of the Land Forces' Staff, has told AGERPRES.
The operation in Afghanistan began in 2001 with an infantry battalion. Romania currently has over 1,000 troops in Zabul province alone and other tens at the Kandahar Airport. Romanian troops are to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014, when only some 100 Romanian soldiers are to remain in the conflict zones there.
The gear used by the Romanian troops in Afghanistan is borrowed from their American partners. The Humvee and MRAP vehicles have been used by the Romanian servicemen since as early as 2011.
Romania has lost 23 troops and other 122 have been wounded in Afghanistan's theaters of operations.
In all these years of Romania's military presence in Afghanistan, the Americans proved to be not only partners, but also friends. They lent military gear and donated five EOD trucks to Romanian Land Forces.
Since the missions in Afghanistan are not easy, Romanian soldiers train for more than six months before being deployed to the respective theatres of operations. All their drills are carried out in the Cincu shooting grounds, where they simulate all possible events in Afghanistan. AGERPRES