France sends tanks to Romania to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank

France sends tanks to Romania to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank

Thirteen Leclerc main battle tanks are being transported by rail from Mourmelon-le-Grand in northeastern France to the Cincu base in Romania as part of the defense reinforcement on NATO’s eastern flank.

The shipment is “the last act of a complex logistical operation, which consisted of the road and rail transport of an armored brigade to Romania,” Colonel Samuel told AFP.

The aim is to strengthen the mission, under French command, which began on February 28, 2022 in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The 13 tanks will travel “just over 2,000 km”, which is “a week’s journey, by rail, passing through five different countries in Europe”, he said.

“They are powerful weapons of war, but they are deployed in a defensive position,” he explained.

The first armored personnel carrier (VBCI) convoys departed on 18 October from the camp of Mourmillon-le-Grand, with the help of the 516th supply regiment of Toul, in eastern France.

In total, “we are in the process of transporting about 150 combat vehicles, with all their equipment and ammunition, which “show the position of France on the side of NATO allies” in Eastern Europe, Colonel Samuel noted.

When asked about information from the newspaper Le Monde, according to which Germany reportedly refused to transport these tanks by road, forcing France to rent trains, Colonel Samuel replied that “from the beginning” the army had “anticipated” using railways and road transport.

“The railway was chosen to meet technical standards, mainly those of Germany. The general logistical handling is taking place at the same time as planned,” Colonel Pierre Godiguere, spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces, told AFP earlier.