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US Marines, Romanian troops hold Black Sea exercises

US Marines advance on the Black Sea shore during training 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.

VADIM GHIRDA/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: March 20, 2017

CAPU MIDIA, Romania U.S. Marines and Romanian troops are taking part in joint exercises on the Black Sea coast.

In one maneuver Monday, 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 U.S. 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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