Bulgaria’s Defense Minister: The Defensive Shield-23 Exercise achieved its Goals of assembling a Multinational Battalion
"The Defensive Shield - 23 exercise achieved its goals - assembling a multinational battalion and its operation in an international environment," said Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov today, May 29, during the day for the demonstration of capabilities by the exercise participants. The Minister of Defense assessed the performance of the Bulgarian servicemen as very good. "It is difficult to work in a multinational environment, but we once again proved that our servicemen are capable, despite the differences we have in the technique (albeit morally outdated) to work with our colleagues," he stressed.
The Chief of Defense Admiral Emil Eftimov emphasized the contribution of Bulgarian servicemen and their knowledge, willingness to participate in training and knowledge of the necessary tactics and procedures. "However, the issue of lagging in technology is becoming more and more critical and pressing," he was categorical. Admiral Eftimov noted the importance of the prepared investment plan-program and the role of military expertise in determining the necessary military capabilities. "We tried to form a program that addresses the development of the Armed Forces until 2032 in all domains recognized in NATO," the defense chief said. Admiral Eftimov stated that if it is confirmed, the military personnel - regardless of where they serve, will feel the state's commitment.
He emphasized that the multinational combat group on our territory with the framework state of Italy is undergoing development. Our armed forces seek to build on the experience gained by rotating the military formations training at Novo Selo training ground.
Minister Dimitar Stoyanov emphasized that, together with the military leadership, real steps have been taken to rearm the army. "The procedure for the acquisition of infantry armored vehicles is going at a fast pace, we expect a binding offer and I hope to have a contract by the end of the year. In this way, the least that will be achieved is an additional incentive and desire to serve in the ranks of the Ground Forces. The outflow from the army is high. It is necessary to think not only about the technique, but also about incentives. These incentives can only come with the adoption of a new budget," emphasized the Minister of Defense. He expressed hope that the National Assembly will continue to work, that reason will prevail and that there will be a regular government. "If the budget is not adopted, the modernization program in the army will stop. There is no way with the funds from the 2022 budget to continue the work on the projects for the acquisition of the 3D radars, the infantry fighting vehicle and 155-mm howitzers," emphasized Minister Stoyanov.
The President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Rumen Radev also congratulated all military personnel for their excellent results. "With each exercise, they get better - both in effective tactics, technique and procedures, and in compatibility. I want to thank the Italian country, which has taken responsibility to be the framework country of the multinational battle group, as well as our partners from the USA, who took an active part in this exercise today," the head of state said.
The day for the demonstration of capabilities was also attended by the Deputy Chief of Defense Lieutenant General Mihail Popov, the Commander of the Joint Forces Command Major General Valery Tsolov, the commanders of the Ground Forces Major General Deyan Deshkov and the Air Force Major General Dimitar Petrov.
At the "Novo Selo" training ground, some of the achieved capabilities in conducting defensive and offensive combat operations by the multinational NATO battle group in Bulgaria were demonstrated. In carrying out the tasks, their actions were supported by aviation and artillery. A static display then displayed samples of the equipment involved in the demonstration.
More than 400 Bulgarian servicemen, the multinational battle group, which includes a mechanized battalion reinforced with a tank platoon, a self-propelled artillery battery and formations for nuclear, chemical and bacteriological protection from the Ground Forces, formations from the US Ground Forces, an Italian formation from the multinational battle group, are participating in the exercise NATO group in Bulgaria, as well as forces and means for direct aviation support from the Air Force.
The tactical live-fire exercise "Defensive Shield - 23" is part of the multinational large-scale exercise "Defender Europe - 23".
/Ministry of Defense
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