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    Tennessee National Guard’s Women, Peace, and Security delegation partners with Bulgarian Military

    Tennessee National Guard’s Women, Peace, and Security delegation partners with Bulgarian Military

    Photo By Lt. Col. Marlin Malone | Tennessee’s Women, Peace, and Security delegation, European Command’s delegation,...... read more read more

    SOFIA, Bulgaria – During the week of June 19-23, the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard collaborated with the Bulgarian Military for one of the first Women, Peace, and Security meetings with their Bulgarian counterparts. This meeting was part of Thracian Sentry 23, a multi-national exercise throughout Eastern Europe, and the celebration of the 30-year partnership between the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense and the Tennessee National Guard.

    Women, Peace, and Security, or WPS, is a global initiative which began in 2000 when the United Nations recognized the disproportionate effect of wartime violence on women and girls. To address this, countries started implementing National Action Plans establishing various programs to address the problems. The United States Congress passed into law The Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, which mandated WPS programs. This legislation identified the Department of Defense as the federal department responsible for implementation. It also acknowledged the multifaceted roles of women throughout the conflict spectrum and pulled into focus the critical roles women play in international peace and security efforts.

    WPS calls for the meaningful participation of women in all levels of decision-making to ensure the safety and security of all genders around the globe. In the military, it is a framework used by operational planners to account for gender differences and examines how military operations can have different effects on different populations.

    “Bulgaria participating in this WPS project is important because it’s our initial proof of concept and our first real application of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda,” said Francisco “Mags” Magallon, European Command’s WPS program manager. “And given that this year is also the 30th anniversary of the Tennessee National Guard and Bulgarian partnership, it’s a great year to make traction on this.”

    The Tennessee National Guard’s delegation, European Command’s WPS program manager, and representatives from the Bulgarian Military came together to initiate a pilot program that utilizes the fundamentals of WPS to increase women recruitment and retention within the Bulgarian military. This collaboration is being piloted by Bulgaria with the goal to set a benchmark that can be replicated by other states in their State Partnership Programs.

    From the week-long collaboration, future engagements and workshops were planned where the Tennessee Military Department and the Bulgarian Military will conduct training together utilizing principles from the WPS strategic plans. They also identify barriers to women in the Bulgarian military and ways in which these barriers could be addressed. The Tennessee Air National Guard was recently recognized as one of the best recruiting teams in the nation, as a result, their recruiters will share best practices with the Ministry of Defense in Bulgaria at future workshops.

    “Tennessee has partnered with European Command and the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense on the Women, Peace, and Security initiative and this pilot program,” stated Lt. Col Linda Kieser, Tennessee’s WPS lead. “The purpose of this initiative is to maximize recruitment, retention, and promoting of women into leadership positions. We are also preparing for the Theater Logistics Readiness training coming in 2025 in order to encourage more women into Bulgaria’s Joint Logistics Directorate.”

    Thracian Sentry 2023 highlights the 30-year-long partnership between the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense and the Tennessee National Guard and commemorates many years of military cooperation. This exercise also allows Tennesseans to improve their readiness alongside their Bulgarian counterparts and to train combat-ready Soldiers and Airmen.


    Date Taken: 06.22.2023
    Date Posted: 06.28.2023 13:54
    Story ID: 448209
    Location: SOFIA, BG

    Web Views: 330
    Downloads: 2