Bulgarian Special Forces and NATO – 5 years on…

Extract from www.sofiaecho.com

Bulgaria joined Nato in January 2004. Five years on, its membership would appear to have brought not only increased security for the country but heightened co-operation with other Nato countries.

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Before entering the alliance, Bulgarian military personnel participated in international missions in Cambodia. Its international duties have now been expanded with deployments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The structure of Bulgaria’s armed forces has witnessed a thorough revamping. Starting in January 2008, Bulgaria scrapped mandatory military service, replacing it with a fully professional army. Two years before the infantry became professional, in 2006, naval and air forces were already fully professional.

Since Bulgaria joined Nato, Bulgaria’s Special Forces have conducted training with the world’s elite: the British Special Air Service (SAS)  as well as other special forces units who were modelled on, and inspired by, the SAS, notably the American Delta Force and the German Kommando Spezialkräfte KSK. Traditionally, Bulgarian elite units also train with the Russian Spetsnaz.

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In April 2006, Bulgaria and the United States signed a defence co-operation agreement providing for the development of Bulgarian air bases at Bezmer (near Yambol) and Graf Ignatievo (near Plovdiv), the Novo Selo training-range (near Sliven), and a logistics centre in Aytos as joint US-Bulgarian military facilities.

A two-day international business conference, entitled 60 years Nato, five years Bulgaria in Nato, started on March 26 in Sofia and will conclude on March 27. The conference, trumpeting Bulgaria’s five years of Nato membership, was headed by Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov. The event was set up by the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria and Nato’s information centre in Sofia.

Bulgarian Special Forces thread on militaryphotos.net



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