Officials from Romania, the United States, Poland, NATO, and Turkey conducted a joint Mast Stepping ceremony on November 17, 2014 for the Aegis Ashore missile defense site now under construction at Deveselu, Romania.
In naval tradition, when a mast is stepped (process of raising a ship's mast and setting it into a notch or step in the keel at the end of the building process), those onboard the ship have the opportunity to contribute coins or other memorabilia to be placed under the mast for good luck.
In anticipation of the successful completion of the Deveselu Missile Defense Site in 2015, Romanian, U.S., Poland, Turkey, and NATO officials put items such as command or organizational coins, newspaper articles relating to the project and other memorabilia items into a box that will then be placed under the mast that will erected at Deveselu.
The Aegis Ashore site at Deveselu is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2015.
Click here for related remarks on “America's Commitment to Ballistic Missile Defense and the European Phased Adaptive Approach” by Rose Gottemoeller, US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, in Bucharest, Romania, Nov. 18, 2014, on the State Dept. website.