The first Romanian Marine unit was established at the beginning of the Second World War, on April Iм, 1940 as a Marine Battalion. One year later, the battalion became the Marine Regiment to fulfill the urgent needs to protect the Danube Delta. During the war, the Marine unit was outfitted with new weapons, and the specific harsh marine training bases were established. Shortly thereafter, the regiment became a capable unit, and covered itself with glory in the battles fought in the Danube Delta. After the war, the unit downsized to battalion level, and, under Soviet pressure, it disbanded in 1958.
After 1968, when Romania was the only country in the communist bloc to condemn the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, a new, independent course was adopted concerning national defense. As a result, the Marine Battalion was reestablished in 1971. Over the next five years, new missions and the area of responsibility were assigned. New instructors developed new training methods and procedures and the reborn Marine Battalion became one more time a representative unit for the Romanian Naval Forces. During the Romanian Revolution in 1989, the Marines patrolled and guarded important objectives in their area as well as provided humanitarian aid to the local population. Once again they accomplished their tasks with commendable skill and dedication.
Following the end of the Cold War, within the general effort for reforming the Romanian Armed Forces, the Marine forces were organized into a Marine Battalion directly subordinate to the Naval Forces Staff. The Battalion structure is based on its missions and on its area of responsibility, which is a very large and geographically diverse region. The Marine Battalion is based in the town of Babadag, Tulcea County, in a region adjacent to great lakes, the Black Sea coast, the Danube River and the Danube Delta. This is a unique region in Romania as well as in South Eastern Europe, and comprises the largest natural reservation on the continent. The terrain is extremely difficult, with relatively shallow lakes, large marsh areas divided by natural channels, wild beaches, built up areas, forests and rocky hills.
As a result, the general missions assigned to the Romanian Marines are enemy annihilation in the area of responsibility, as well as peace support operations. The current capabilities of the Marine Battalion range from conventional ground operations to special reconnaissance and interception, commando actions and noncombatant evacuation. In order to accomplish specific missions in the Danube Delta, lagoon areas, and along the Danube, the Marines are trained for defending harbor and main objectives along the beach against enemy beach assault by airborne, reconnaissance troops and terrorists who might operate in the area.
The battalion currently has companies, which allows it to have sufficient combat and logistics support to carry out its missions for extended periods of time. The combat companies are waterborne, operating on small boats, airborne, or fighting on the land from amphibious light armored carriers. A light artillery battery, fitted with Romanian guns originally designed for mountain warfare, provides organic fire support.
In addition, the Battalion has a weapons company, engineer and logistics companies, as well as signal and reconnaissance platoons. It is important to mention that all of the equipment of the battalion was made in Romania, and most of it is interoperable with NATO.
The most important assets of the battalion are its Marines. The battalion is almost 60% enlisted personnel, and this percentage will gradually increase over the next several years so that the battalion will become an all-professional force. Most of them are recruited in the area, and their knowledge of the region is a great bonus. The bases of training are physical training, team effort and unit ethos, oriented toward facing a hostile force and environment. The Marines core values are tradition, courage, tactical and technical proficiency and leadership displayed at all levels.
In recent years, units belonging to the Marine Battalion participated actively in numerous international exercises in Romania and abroad, including in the Netherlands, Portugal, Ukraine, Denmark and Poland. They trained side-by-side with Marines from all over the world and made numerous friends among them, while displaying their skills, courage, and commitment.
The Marine Battalion is a representative unit for the Romanian Naval Forces and for the entire Romanian Armed Forces. Their logo defines them better than one thousand words: ALWAYS READY.