US Marines, Romanian troops hold Black Sea exercises

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US Marines launch a Stinger missile at the Capu Midia Surface to Air Firing Range, on the Black Sea coast in Romania, Monday, March 20, 2017. About 1,200 US and Romanian troops take part in the Spring Storm 17 exercise, meant to simulate defense of the Romanian Black Sea coastline and urban areas. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

CAPU MIDIA — US Marines and Romanian troops are taking part in joint exercises on the Black Sea coast.

In one maneuver yesterday, they launched a Stinger missile at a surface-to-air firing range.

There are 450 Marines and 750 Romanian troops participating in the exercises to simulate defense of the Black Sea coastline and urban areas.

At one point, a Romanian soldier and a Marine shared a laugh while momentarily switching their weapons at the Capu Midia range.

The Spring Storm 17 exercises aim to increase interoperability of Romanian and US troops in a region where NATO members are uneasy after Russia's interventions in Ukraine.

The USS Carter Hall, LCAC Landing Craft Air Cushion and Assault Amphibious Vehicles are in Romania as part of the training, which began Thursday and ends Wednesday.

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