5,000 NATO, partner troops stage exercises in Romania

YAVOROV, UKRAINE - SEPTEMBER 16: Members of the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade demonstrate urban warfare techniques as Ukrainian soldiers look on on the second day of the 'Rapid Trident' bilateral military exercises between the United States and Ukraine that include troops from a variety of NATO and non-NATO countries on September 16, 2014 near Yavorov, Ukraine. The two-week exercises include participating units from a variety of NATO and NATO-associate countries as well as Ukrainian troops. Meanwhile the Ukrainian parliement today ratified an associate agreement with the European Union and also agreed on a autonomous status for the separatist-controlled portion of eatern Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) Restrictions

BUCHAREST, Romania — Some 5,000 troops from NATO and partner countries are staging exercises in Romania watched by a senior NATO official and Romania’s president.

President Klaus Iohannis and NATO Military Committee head Gen. Petr Pavel, who is on a two-day visit to Romania, were welcomed with military honors ahead of Saturday’s exercises at the Cincu shooting range in northwest Romania.

Troops from Romania, the U.S., Ukraine, Armenia and Croatia opened gunfire, backed by U.S. and Romanian military aircraft.

The exercises, led by U.S. Army Europe, began this week in Eastern Europe involving 25,000 military personnel from more than 20 allied and partner countries. The U.S. is seeking to reassure NATO’s European allies concerned about Russia since it annexed Crimea in 2014.

The exercises run until July 20.