By Lt. Cmdr. Richard Tisdale, Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System Romania
Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System Romania (AAMDSRO) executes the strategic mission of defending NATO allies and U.S. forces against current and emerging ballistic missile threats. AAMDSRO employs the tried and reliable Aegis Weapon system in a shore configuration to conduct ballistic missile intercepts.
] The AAMDSRO command and staff element consists of the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Senior Enlisted Adviser, Medical Officer, Supply Officer, Administrative Officer, Logistics Specialists, and Hospital Corpsmen. Command and staff element personnel are assigned to AAMDSRO for one-year permanent change of station tours in Develesu, Romania, and members rotate independently. AAMDSRO watch teams are trained, certified, and deployed overseas from Dam Neck, Virginia. Three watch teams are required to support 24-hour AAMDS operations, and make up a crew. Nominally there are three crews; organized for efficient manning distribution as Red, White, and Blue crews. However, AAMDSRO watch teams deploy separately on a two-month staggered rotation, and will not deploy as a single three watch team crew. For deployment considerations, there are nine watch teams rotating forward to ensure AAMDSRO is manned by one crew (three watch teams) at any time. [capt
] AAMDSRO is located in the rural Romanian town of Deveselu. The base is adjacent to Caracal, a small town where many basic stores and shops can be found. An hour drive away is Craiova, a classic European city and popular weekend destination. The capital Bucharest, a four-hour drive away, is the largest city in the country. Logistics support is flown in by Commander, Task Force 63 into Craiova and Bucharest. You quickly discover that you are stationed in a remote location, and logistics are a challenge. Logistics planning and wait time management are critically important. Registered mail and CASREPs take days of advance planning to ensure delivery to the remote site. And all interactions require some navigation of the local language. The tour in itself is very much like a department head tour. You have an operations officer, combat systems officer, systems test officer to interface with, as well as facilities concerns. For those who have not completed a Department Head tour, the Senior Department Head Course is attended en route as part of your training pipeline. You will also attend Aegis Ashore Academy, an eight-week indoctrination period providing a tailored pre-deployment curriculum to include a two-week regional and cultural orientation course. As my first overseas tour, I have found this experience very rewarding. Direct support to the strategic mission of the defense of Europe is a very different experience than my previous Supply Officer tour. I operate independently as the only Supply Officer in country, and my subject matter expertise and decision making skills are tested daily. I can safely say this is my most challenging and rewarding tour to date. Spring 2018