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    NAVSCIATTS Expands Black Sea Initiative to OCONUS-based Training

    180803-N-TI567-190

    Photo By Angela Fry | 180803-N-TI567-190 VARNA, Bulgaria - Graduates of a recent Patrol Craft Officer -...... read more read more

    VARNA, Bulgaria – In front of an audience that included Commander of Bulgarian Navy Rear Adm. Mitko Alexandrov Petev and United States Ambassador to Bulgaria Eric Rubin, 15 Bulgarian defense force professionals graduated from the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School’s first mobile training team engagement in support of the Black Sea Initiative, held at Varna naval facilities on Aug. 3.

    This mobile iteration of NAVSCIATTS’ Patrol Craft Officer Coastal course was specifically tailored by the U.S. Naval Special Warfare command to provide coastal patrol craft training in support of the Bulgarian navy’s recent receipt of 11-meter and seven-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boats. In addition to providing personnel with the skills required to operate coastal crafts in a patrol setting, the Bulgarian iteration focused on increasing partner nation capabilities, interoperability and addressing regional threats.

    In January of 2018, prior to the receipt of the coastal crafts and additional equipment, 34 Bulgarian defense forces trained in multiple courses of instruction at NAVSCIATTS’ facilities on the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi in conjunction with the inaugural iteration of the Black Sea Initiative, a semester that also included security force professionals from Poland. The primary instructors utilized for the PCO-C Bulgarian MTT were selected from the recent graduates of the Black Sea semester.

    “You have demonstrated the value of NAVSCIATTS’ concept of ‘train-the-trainer,’” Amb. Rubin explained to the three prior NAVSCIATTS’ graduates who were utilized as instructor-cadre during the two-week training initiative. “This approach will be critical going forward in this process.”

    With $1.6 million in U.S. grant funding, Bulgaria will focus on three lines of effort: maritime training in coastal patrol settings and operational capabilities, training assistance from advanced militaries within the region and firsthand experience regarding how the U.S. military trains, operates and approaches problems; also known as Defense Institute Building.

    “This is a particularly special day because Bulgaria is the first nation in the Black Sea region to receive these boats from the United States,” stated the ambassador, who was sworn into the position in January of 2016. “These boats, along with the equipment and training that go with them, cost approximately $2 million; and will enhance not only Bulgaria’s maritime security and sovereignty, but also promote Black Sea and NATO collective security.”

    With a regional commitment at least into 2020, the intent of the Black Sea Initiative is to develop multi-lateral maritime domain awareness and strengthen regional cooperation by developing special operations forces within the region to meet NATO interoperability standards.

    “The increasingly complex challenges and threats in the maritime domain from terrorism, piracy, weapons trafficking and illegal migration all require a professional maritime force that is ready to respond to the depth and multitude of scenarios. Todays’ graduates will play an important role in enhancing Bulgaria’s readiness and address such challenges,” Rubin explained. “While we mark the end of the training today, we also look forward to NAVSCIATTS’ Black Sea Initiative, which continues next year amid good participation from both NATO allies and Black Sea regional partners.”

    Rear Adm. Petev, a U.S. Naval War College graduate who was appointed Bulgarian navy commander in June of 2015, spoke to the audience that consisted of course graduates, two Naval Special Warfare combatant craft instructors, U.S. embassy staff, the NAVSCIATTS’ command team of Cdr. John T. Green and Command Master Chief Jimmy Arevalo, local media and other Bulgarian navy delegates.

    During the admiral’s speech commemorating the end of this stage of the initiative and celebrating the capabilities of the newly-acquired force protection boats, he explained that the donation of the boats and training, both in the U.S. and in Bulgaria, are examples of the cooperation between the two countries regarding defense within the Black Sea region. He further explained that receipt of the tactical vessels give the Bulgarian navy the ability to respond rapidly in the areas of acts of terrorism, interdiction, search and rescue operations and medical evacuations; all elements that will allow the Bulgarian armed forces to elevate its position within the area’s special operations community.

    “With Bulgaria’s continued commitment to expand its naval capabilities and strengthen regional cohesiveness with future training initiatives, NAVSCIATTS looks forward to working with the partners of the Black Sea as we further regional cooperation and lay the groundwork for lasting global relationships,” added Cdr. Green, who has spent the majority of his military career as a U.S. Navy SEAL.

    The next iteration of in-resident training at NAVSCIATTS in support of the Black Sea is scheduled to occur in January of 2019, consisting of NATO allies, to include a large contingency of Bulgarian defense force professionals. These forces will train in a multitude of courses to include: coastal craft training, maintenance courses, tactical communications and intel fusion courses.

    PCO-C is designed to provide selected military and law enforcement personnel with instruction in mission planning, craft operational checks, navigation using paper charts and onboard electronic navigational equipment, crew-served weapons, maritime interdiction operations and the transport of ground forces.

    NAVSCIATTS is an international training center operating under U.S. Special Operations Command in support of Foreign Security Assistance and Geographic Combatant Commanders’ Theater Security Cooperation priorities. For more information about NAVSCIATTS and its courses, visit www.socom.mil/navsoc/NAVSCIATTS/.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.04.2018
    Date Posted: 08.04.2018 02:33
    Story ID: 287250
    Location: VARNA, BG 

    Web Views: 361
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

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