STUTTGART, Germany — The U.S. European Command confirmed that several countries — notably Bulgaria and Romania — are allowing their military bases to be used as staging areas for a possible war against Iraq.

In Romania, hundreds of U.S. troops have been at an air base near the Black Sea port of Constanta for about two weeks.

In Bulgaria, a temporary air base has been established at a seaside resort near Burgas, also on the Black Sea coast.

EUCOM spokeswoman Air Force Capt. Sarah Kerwin said these were the two major sites within EUCOM’s area of responsibility that could be used as operating bases in a war on Iraq.

She said there were several smaller areas that could be used, but she could not discuss those.

EUCOM officials will only say what units have deployed or have deployment orders. They will not release where troops are going unless it is obvious to people on the ground that troops are in a particular country or region.

The reliance on other forward operating bases outside of Turkey has an added importance since the Turkish parliament is still balking at allowing the United States to use its country as a springboard for any attack onto neighboring Iraq.

Romania and Bulgaria are just north of Turkey along the Black Sea.

One war scenario now being debated is that troops could be flown in and then parachute into northern Iraq.

Bulgaria, which currently holds a seat on the 15-member U.N. Security Council, is one of three council members — along with Spain and Britain — that has consistently backed the U.S. policy on Iraq. Romania is hoping to become a NATO member.

Romania officials said the U.S. troops are at Constanta to stay.

“The U.S. troops will remain,” Romanian Public Administration Minister Octav Cozmanca said. “We were informed by U.S. authorities that more U.S. planes are coming.”

The U.S. Embassy in Bucharest also said troops were arriving.

“We are forwarding troops and equipment from Germany,” Mark Wenig, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, said. “They will continue to arrive in the following days.”

He declined to say how many planes and personnel had arrived.

Workers at the Bulgarian base, called Camp Sarafovo, are building a tent city to house troops that will become part of the 409th Air Expeditionary Group, group spokesman Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason Smith said Thursday.

The site will serve mainly as an air-refueling and cargo-lifting center. Planes will use the nearby Burgas commercial airport, Smith said.

Troops from several stateside units, as well as European units from RAF Lakenheath, England, and Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will be on the ground as part of the new expeditionary group in Bulgaria.

Airmen began arriving last month at Camp Sarafovo, used as a summer retreat for Bulgarian army troops. Smith said he could not release the exact number of troops expected at the new site. He said 15 tents already had been erected but more were being built.

The Burgas airport was used during air raids over Afghanistan for KC-135 crews on air-refueling missions, Smith said. But those operations were smaller scale than what would occur during a conflict with Iraq, he said.

Troops are now living in dormitory-style, three-bed rooms. Airmen also are building a morale and recreation tent, moving in gym equipment and building a kitchen.

Group commander Col. Jim Muscatell, a full-time Air Force Reserve officer from McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, has given airmen approval to buy one hot meal a day in Burgas.

“There’s a McDonald’s that everyone goes to,” Smith said.

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