News: U.S., Bulgarian forces practice raids of mock village with Strykers
Story by Spc. Sophia Klevemann
NOVO SELO TRAINING AREA, Bulgaria — The U.S. Army 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, out of Vilseck, Germany, and Bulgarian Land Forces 61st Mechanized Brigade from Karlovo practiced a raid on a suspected enemy hideout during military operations on urban terrain training here Sept. 17.
The objective of this training exercise was to locate and secure high-value targets and extract them into Strykers, which are eight-wheeled armored infantry vehicles used to transport troops into combat.
"We are building an allied capacity, so the U.S. military and the Bulgarian military are more prepared to work together as a result of the training here," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Omar Jones IV, squadron commander of 2/2 SCR.
U.S. and Bulgarian forces trained side-by-side and conducted a discussion of the exercise shortly thereafter. This after-action review helps determine what tactics and procedures to sustain and improve when conducting these high-risk operations. This training is meant to help prepare both units for future deployments.
"This exercise has been very fruitful for all the guys in our company because the terrain here resembles the one in Afghanistan best," said Bulgarian Land Forces 1st Lt. Todo Kirov, deputy company commander of the 61st Mechanized Brigade. "We have real life experiences to what we can expect in Afghanistan."
The training conducted at Novo Selo Training Area was a part of the Joint Task Force-East exercises. JTF-E is part of the U.S. European Command's Theater Security Cooperation Program that provides the U.S. and its partners with a training venue to improve their partnership and capabilities.