Minister of National Defence Mihnea Motoc congratulated on Friday the "Transylvanian Dragons" 811th Infantry Force Protection Battalion on their return home from Afghanistan, telling the troops that they "have once again confirmed the Romanian military's standard of excellence in theaters of operations."
"This is the first time that I am attending a homecoming ceremony to welcome troops back from the Afghanistan theater of operations. I have been at almost all the ceremonies marking the departure to operation theaters, but not at a welcome home one, and please believe me, I am extremely happy that you all made a safe return. (...) You have once again confirmed the Romanian military standard of excellence in theaters of operations, you represented us in honor, both before the allies at whose side we have been participating for some time now in the stabilization effort in Afghanistan, as well as before the officials and locals. To them, you have represented Romania with everything it has most valuable. I think you have fully proven top response capacity, discipline and performance level, which are the standards expected of the 811th Infantry Battalion," Mihnea Motoc said.
He underscored on the occasion that the Romanian military presence in the area complies both with Romania's interests as a state, and with the population's expectations of the combat of terrorism.
"It is over a decade now that we have been participating with troops in the Afghanistan theater of operations, in that part of the world. We stay convinced — this is my personal conviction and our official creed — that our presence in Afghanistan fully complies not only with Romania's interests as a state, but also with the people's expectations to see terrorism fought off, to see terrorism stopped from proliferating in a region which is not that remote," Mihnea Motoc said.
During the ceremony, the Minister of Defence decorated two Romanian troops wounded in Afghanistan.
The welcome home ceremony for the 811th Infantry Force Protection Battalion that is back from Afghanistan took place on Friday in Dej, with Minister of National Defence Mihnea Motoc, Chief of the General Staff Gen. Nicolae Ciuca, Cluj County prefect Gheorghe Vuscan and other local officials attending.
During the ceremony Cluj Metropolitan bishop Andrei Andreicut held a religious service. AGERPRES (RO — author: Marius Septimiu, editor: Diana Dumitru; EN — author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Adina Ana-Maria Panaitescu)