In addition to the Aegis Ashore crews, there is a sizeable
security force, including Navy master-at-arms specialists,
administrative specialists, logistics specialists, government service employees and contractors.
According to Craycraft, the temporary U.S. Navy
Seabee-built Romanian huts and expeditionary containerized living units have been replaced with a new combined
housing/dining facility, command security control facility,
expeditionary medical facility, public works facility, fire
station and other mission-support buildings. There’s even
a small but growing Navy Exchange.
The dirt roads and muddy walkways have been replaced by paved streets and sidewalks. With the spring
will come the grass lawns and plantings, while the fertile farmland around base bursts into fields of wheat
“We’re self-contained,” Craycraft said.
The installation has a robust Morale, Welfare and
Recreation program that provides opportunities for the
Sailors to get off base and see Romania, Craycraft said.
“This weekend, we have people going on a ski trip to
Sinaia in the Carpathian Mountains. Our people enjoy the
culture, history and hospitality of Romania. The adoption
of the local Deveselu elementary school has provided great
enjoyment for our civilian and military team,” Craycraft
said. “It’s a unique opportunity for us to interact with for-
eign nationals as our host, as well as having an apprecia-
tion as a U.S. citizen of the strong
bonds we have with our host nation.
“We represent the Navy’s newest
installation, and the community of
Deveselu is very proud of our part-
nership,” he said. “We have great
appreciation for each other, both per-
sonally and professionally. We know
the people from the Ministry of
Defense, the Romanian Navy and
the county and the town. We want to
build great relationships with them
and, from my perspective, they want
to build great relationships with us.”
Cmdr. Drew Carlson is the
AAMDS commanding officer. He
has nine crews of 11 Sailors who
man the site on a rotational basis.
His command is located in the
four-story deckhouse building that
houses the major components of
the Aegis Weapon System.
AAMDS has a high percentage
of senior personnel.
“We’re looking for proven per-
formers who meet the screening
requirements,” he said. “It is expedi-
tionary duty in an austere location. Sailors need to be inde-
pendent and motivated. As a small command, our bench
is not very deep, but our talent pool is unsurpassed.”
“Aegis Ashore is slightly different in that the com-
mand element is 100 percent of the time forward, with
two-thirds of the command in CONUS [the continen-
tal United States] at Dam Neck in various stages of
inter-deployment activity,” Carlson said.
Most administrative requirements for the command
and the detachment are handled by the Fleet Introduction
Team, an eight-person team under PMS 339 that supports
personnel and administrative actions for the command.
Principal efforts at Dam Neck are the reception, integration, training and deployment of the 11-person watch
teams to Romania. Currently, watch teams Blue 1 and 2
are on station, undergoing Aegis Ashore Team Training
and Aegis Ashore Academy respectively.
The crews get individual and team training. High-fidelity training at Dam Neck takes place in a detailed
replica of the Aegis Ashore Combat Information Center.
The Missile Defense Agency and the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational
Test Agency, in conjunction with U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. European Command
and Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, successfully conducted the first intercept flight test of a land-based Aegis Ballistic
Missile Defense weapon system and Standard Missile- 3 Block IB Threat Upgrade
guided missile, launched from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex at
the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, on Dec. 10.