US Expands Bulgaria Novo Selo Military Training Ground
The American military training ground in the village of Novo Selo will be expanded by November 2010, US and Bulgarian officials announced Thursday.
General Carter F. Ham, the Commanding General of US Army, Europe and Seventh Army and Bulgarian General, Ivan Dobrev, Commander of the Bulgarian Land Forces said the new ground, near the southern city of Sliven, will be built so that it could accommodate more rangers and be used for military exercises conducted by several countries, not just the US and Bulgarian forces. The expanded ground will have a capacity of 2 500 service men.
In its existence Novo Selo has trained 4 companies and 1 100 rangers.
High ranking officers from both armies are taking part Thursday in the Novo Selo VIP Day and are observing tactical demonstrations of the US and Bulgarian land forces, “Black Hawk” helicopters, "Striker" armored vehicles and Bulgarian armored equipment.
Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Boriosv, arrived in a helicopter, accompanied by Defense Minister, Nikolay Mladenov. Other official guests, including US Ambassador, Interim Charge d'Affairs of the Bulgarian Embassy in Sofia, John Ordway, Members of the Parliament and representatives of the media are also in Novo Selo for the joint exercises.
General Dobrev said the facility offers great equipment and conditions for the training of rangers for foreign missions. General Ham informed the temporary camp will be dismantled and parts of it will be sent to Germany while some will remain in Bulgaria.
Ambassador Ordway stated Bulgaria is a reliable ally and partner in NATO, proven in missions in Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Afghanistan, adding the country is on the forefront in the fight against terrorism, human and drug trafficking.
The Novo Selo ground is hosting joint Bulgarian-US training from August 7 to October 24.
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