BUCHAREST — NATO will temporarily move its southern European headquarters to Romania in June as part of a major military exercise, an American official said Tuesday.

The Allied Joint Force Command based in Naples, Italy, is to transfer to central Romania for two weeks of maneuvers, its commander Adm. Mark Ferguson said during a visit to Bucharest.

"This deployment will be the first time a NATO joint force command headquarters has deployed to Romania," said Ferguson.

"Approximately 1,000 NATO personnel from 21 member states will participate in this exercise which is an important insurance measure for the alliance," the admiral added.

Ferguson said the Romania exercise "demonstrate(s) that NATO is transforming and adapting to meet the new security challenges facing the alliance," such as the Ukraine crisis.

NATO will organize other exercises of this type in June including in Poland and the Baltic states.