Commander, Romanian Navy
Vice Admiral (VADM), a native of Titesti, Arges, was born on the 27th of March 1968. Commissioned in 1991 as a lieutenant junior grade, his first assignments on-board a ship was as Department Head of minesweeper operations, and later on as Executive Officer. At squadron and brigade level, he served as Operations Officer. After National Defence University graduation, he was appointed Commanding Officer of minelayer “IOAN MURGESCU” (271), Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of MCM squadron. From 2009 to 2013 as the CO of “REGELE FERDINAND” (221) frigate, he deployed in various NATO and EU operations such as Active Endeavour (2010), Unified Protector (2011) and Atalanta (2012). Rear Admiral PANAIT was a Romanian Task Group Commander during its first activation in 2013, in 2014 and 2016. As a staff officer, he performed duties as head of EOD and Force Protection operations office to Naval Operational Component Command and Deputy Chief of Staff for training to Fleet Command. His first assignment as Flag Officer was as Chief of Staff of the Fleet Command when he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral (LH) on the 1st of December 2017. On the 1st of August 2019, he was assigned as the Fleet Commander and promoted to Rear Admiral on the 1st of December. From 1st of January to the 15th of June 2018, he was acting Deputy Chief of the Romanian Naval Forces for Operations and Training. On the 1st of July 2020, he was appointed as the Chief of the Romanian Naval Forces. A surface warfare officer by trade, he graduated from the “Mircea cel Batran” Naval Institute in 1991. His post-graduation education includes Command Team Training Programme in Den Helder, NLD (2005), Naval Command College in Newport, Rhode Island, USA (2009), Joint Strategic Leadership Course in National Defence University “Carol I”, Bucharest (2014), Combined Force Maritime Component Commanders Flag Course in Naples, Italy (2017). He also graduated several career courses in Romania and abroad at the staff, units and brigade level commands, security and good governance. Vice Admiral (VADM) Mihai PANAIT is a Veteran in TO and has received various national and international awards and titles; “Emblem of Honour” from General Staff (2007); “Maritime Virtue” Order – Captain and Knight (2011); “Participant in International Missions”, Operation Unified Protector (2011); the Officer of the year 2011 from Romanian Navy; the Officer of the year 2012 from Romanian General Staff; “Emblem of Honour” from Naval Forces (2012); “The Common Security and Defence Policy Service” E.U. medal (2012); “Emblem of Honour” from Air Forces (2018); “Emblem of Honour” from Land Forces (2019).