WASHINGTON – The U.S. and Romania have reached an agreement to allow American troops and cargo to use the Black Sea air base of Mihail Kogalniceanu as a transport hub as they move in and out of Afghanistan.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel finalized the agreement in a meeting with Romania's Defense Minister Mircea Dusa on Friday. The Romania base is critical because beginning next June the U.S. will no longer be able to use the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan. Lawmakers there voted to end the agreement. That complicated matters for the U.S. as it brings thousands of troops out of Afghanistan over the next year.
Romania has also agreed to host an Aegis radar as part of the broader European missile defense system meant to protect against possible Iranian missile attacks.