Moldova, an Eastern European country and former Soviet republic, has varied terrain including forests, rocky hills and vineyards.
Its wine regions include Nistreana, known for reds, and Codru, home to some of the world’s largest cellars. Capital Chișinău has Soviet-style architecture and the National Museum of History, exhibiting art and ethnographic collections that reflect cultural links with neighboring Romania.
The Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova consist of the National Army (which is divided into the Land Forces Command and the Air Forces Command) and the Trupele de Carabinieri under the Ministry of Internal Affairs . Until 2012, the Moldovan Border Police (then known as the Border Troops) belonged to the armed forces.
On 2 November 1990, prior to the formation of the state of Moldova, the Supreme Soviet of the Moldovan SSR ordered creation of the Republican Guard as a militarized government agency. This force subsequently became the Moldovan military upon independence.
Moldova has accepted all relevant arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union. On October 30, 1992, Moldova ratified the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe , which establishes comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment and provides for the destruction of weapons in excess of those limits.
It acceded to the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in October 1994 in Washington, DC . It does not have nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons.
Moldova joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 's Partnership for Peace on March 16, 1994.
A transition to a professional force of 12,000 to 15,000 volunteers was planned at first, but when fighting erupted in 1991 between supporters of the central government in Chișinău and supporters of separatist regions, males between eighteen and forty years of age were mobilized, and the size of Moldova's military was temporarily expanded to meet the demands of the Transnistrian conflict.
In early 1995, the armed forces totaled some 11,000 volunteers, and there were plans to gradually create a professional army, similar to that of the United States.
At the beginning of 1994, the Moldovan army (under the Ministry of Defense) consisted of 9,800 men organized into three motorized infantry brigades, one artillery brigade, and one reconnaissance/assault battalion.
Its equipment consisted of fifty-six ballistic missile defenses; seventy-seven armored personnel carriers and sixty-seven "look-alikes;" eighteen 122 mm and fifty-three 152 mm towed artillery units; nine 120 mm combined guns/mortars; seventy AT-4 Spigot, nineteen AT-5 Spandrel, and twenty-seven AT-6 Spiral anti-tank guided weapons; a 73 mm SPG-9 recoilless launcher, forty-five MT-12 100 mm anti-tank guns; and thirty ZU-23 23 mm and twelve S-60 57 mm air defense guns.
Moldova has received some arms from former Soviet stocks maintained on the territory of the republic as well as undetermined quantities of arms from Romania, particularly at the height of the fighting with Transnistria.
By 2006–7, the Army had been reduced to a strength of 5,710, including three motor rifle brigades, one artillery brigade, and independent SF and engineer battalions, plus an independent guard unit. Equipment included 44 BMD-1 AIFV, and 266 APCs, including 91 TAB-71s, as well as 227 artillery pieces.
The modern Land Forces Command was established on 25 December 2008. In 2010, the Army had been further reduced to 5,148 (3,176 professional soldiers and 1,981 conscripts) plus 2,379 paramilitary forces. The reserve force consists of 66,000 troops.
Equipment included 44 AIFV, 164 APCs, 148 artillery pieces, 117 ATGMs, 138+ recoilless guns, 36 towed antitank guns and 37 towed anti-aircraft guns.
In 1994 the Moldovan Air Force consisted of 1,300 men organized into one fighter regiment, one helicopter squadron, and one missile brigade.
Armaments used by the air force included thirty-one MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft, eight Mi-8 Hip helicopters, five transport aircraft (including an Antonov An-72 Coaler), and twenty-five SA-3 Goa/ SA-5 Gammon surface-to-air missiles.
The 86th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment had been located at Mărculești since October 1951, and had been reequipped with MiG-29s in 1988. It had been part of the 119th Fighter Aviation Division, which had been resubordinated to the Soviet Black Sea Fleet since December 1989.
Twenty-one of the MiG-29s were sold to the United States in October 1997 to prevent their sale on the world market, and for research purposes. All the spare parts for those aircraft were also purchased, as were the accompanying 500 air-to-air missiles.
All the aircraft were transported from Moldova to the National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in Boeing C-17 Globemaster III transport planes over a period of two weeks.
As of 2006 all the MiG-29 fighters had either been sold or scrapped, and the Moldovan Air Force had only 2 An-2 Colts, 1 An-26 Curl, 2 An-72 Coalers, 8 Mi-8 Hips, and 12 SA-3 'Goa' SAMs in service, manned by 1,040 personnel.
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