World

April 4, 2014

Ukrainian officers join NATO drills in Bulgaria

NOVO SELO, Bulgaria – Lt. Col. Valeria Parada had a challenge.

She and her team were responsible for rescuing people caught up in a dangerous situation around the Black Sea and making sure they received whatever humanitarian assistance they needed.

To do that, she first had to learn how to coordinate among the air, navy and army forces available to help – and then map out the best way to achieve their goal.

Parada was one of 16 senior officers that Ukraine dispatched to Bulgaria to join a NATO military exercise April 3 – a very public demonstration of cooperation between the alliance and the crisis-torn former Soviet republic.

Organizers said the drills, dubbed “Saber Guardian,” involved over 700 troops from 13 NATO member and partner nations, as well as representatives from NATO. They were held at Bulgaria’s Novo Selo training area, 320 kilometers (200 miles) east of Sofia, the capital, and 70 kilometers (44 miles) from the Black Sea.

It’s one of four Bulgarian military facilities involved in a U.S. deal signed in 2006 that allows U.S. troops to be deployed there on rotational training tours.

The April 3 drill was virtual – involving troops working on computer simulations. Although planned in 2013, the exercises coincided with an East-West standoff over Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The exercises are being held just few hundred miles away from the contested Black Sea peninsula.

“Our peaceful, humanitarian-focused exercise will help bring stability to this geopolitically significant part of the world,” Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, deputy commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, told The Associated Press.

“We are very glad that Ukrainian partners could be here and take part, and they have done a very good job as members of our team,” Longo added.

The April 3 exercise aimed to test the capabilities of NATO partner nations in assisting one another, as requested, in disasters or potential worldwide emergencies. Reporters were not allowed to question officers like Parada who were busy working on it.

The command center of the highly complex exercise was a huge tent where dozens of officers worked on real-time solutions for the “regional crisis.” Under their command were air, navy, marine and army units and their moves were coordinated with similar centers in the capital cities of Bulgaria and Romania, as well as with the U.S. military base in Ramstein, Germany.

At the end of the two weeks of drills “we will have learned to work for a common goal – to stand shoulder to shoulder no matter what kind of crisis we face,” Longo said.

And the NATO-led teams are planning to get even more practice.

“When we do the exercise in the Ukraine next year, it will be even bigger and more complex,” Longo said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 21, 2014

News: Dempsey lays groundwork for larger 2016 defense budget - The top U.S. military official on Wednesday made the case for growing the base defense budget significantly over the $535 billion spending cap imposed by Congress for fiscal 2015.   Business: Boeing can bill $61 million that Pentagon withheld for months - The Pentagon withheld $60.5 million...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Obama aide: U.S. should look at Ukraine military aid A senior aide of President Barack Obama says he believes the U.S. should consider giving Ukraine lethal, defensive military assistance to get Russia to think twice about its destabilizing behavior. Tony Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, cites serious violations by Russia of agreements not to...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 

 
LM-facility

Lockheed Martin opens Surface Navy Innovation Center

Lockheed Martin has opened the Surface Navy Innovation Center in Moorestown, N.J., to support the development of new technologies for the U.S. Navy. The SNIC is a research, development and demonstration facility that brings tog...
 
 
raytheon-test

Raytheon successfully demonstrates integrated electronic warfare capabilities

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Raytheon, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, successfully demonstrated an end to end, first of its kind, integrated electronic attack system during flight tests at the Naval Air Weapons Station Chi...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>