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    U.S., Bulgaria resilient as regional threat looms

    Armor inbound

    Photo By Sgt. Derrick Irions | After locating and destroying the enemy's primary defense location, U.S. and Bulgarian...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Derrick Irions 

    U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa     

    PLOVDIV, Bulgaria - U.S. and Bulgarian military exercises demonstrate a combined commitment to preserving European security amidst recent Russian aggression.

    As current regional tensions in Eastern Europe intensify, NATO partnerships are vital to deescalating and deterring threats.

    During a recent training exercise, the U.S. and Bulgarian forces refined offensive and defensive tactics and sharpened joint-force techniques. Through operational standardization, integration and cooperation, these partnerships amplify the probability of future mission success.

    "A big focus was how the Bulgarians interacted with the Americans," said 1st Lt. Brent Ogden, battalion adjutant with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines. "The Bulgarians showing they have command and control over American units is fantastic. It empowers them and gives them a lot of confidence."

    These bilateral training events prepare coalitions to effectively address real-world aggression that threaten an allies’ sovereignty. This mission directly coincides with Article 5 of NATO's founding treaty, which basically states that any attack against one member of the alliance is an attack against them all, enabling collective defense.

    Most recently, Russian separatists portrayed this type of aggression during months of fighting in Eastern Ukraine. While a ceasefire between the two is in place, fighting continues to be reported in the area.

    "This training is a great opportunity to show our commitment to NATO partners and allies," said Ogden. "Being able to come out here and train with the Bulgarians, to learn from them, and teach them if we can, is a great way to show them that no matter what happens the United States will be there."

    Exercise Strike Back is a Bulgarian hosted event as part of the U.S. Europe Command's program for regional stability and security. The training provided a platform for U.S. and Bulgarian forces to share tactics and best practices when conducting troop maneuvers, artillery fire and airstrikes.

    Ogden said this forum strengthens the line of communication and bolsters familiarity between the two NATO allies.

    Bulgaria first became a member of the NATO alliance in 2004. Bulgaria is taking active measures to ensure the security of the Baltic and European regions by hosting joint-military exercise operations with other NATO allies and partners.

    Nations like this, in this region, are whom we might be working with," Ogden expressed, referring to potential coalitions against regional threats.

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    Date Taken: 10.17.2014
    Date Posted: 10.17.2014 06:14
    Story ID: 145299
    Location: PLOVDIV, BG 

    Web Views: 475
    Downloads: 0