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Building a NATO multinational battlegroup in Bulgaria

  • Natochannel
  • March 8, 2022 | 2:10

What does it take to build a battlegroup? Relationships, trust and plenty of hard work. Join the Bulgarian and US armies as they set up a new NATO multinational battlegroup in Bulgaria.
Synopsis

The Bulgarian and US Armies are hard at work setting up a new NATO multinational battlegroup.
After Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Allies agreed to strengthen the existing NATO battlegroups in the Baltic states and in Poland, and to establish four new multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to reinforce Allied deterrence and defence. In Bulgaria, a team of advisors from the US Army’s 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) is helping set up the new multinational battlegroup. Drawing on years of experience, they’re working alongside the Bulgarian 42nd Mechanised Battalion and a company of infantry from the US Army’s 3rd Armoured Brigade Combat Team to establish the group’s standard operating procedures. During the annual Bulgarian-led Exercise Platinum Lion 22, the soldiers had the chance to test their ability to work together by executing a battalion-sized joint operation. Infantry from the British Army’s Royal Irish Regiment also participated.
According to the SFAB soldiers, relationships and trust play a key role in building a battlegroup, especially at a time when European security has been transformed by a war on the continent.
In October, the Italian Army will assume command of the NATO battlegroup as the framework nation. Albania and the United States will contribute forces, with more nations expected to join.
Transcript

SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —

SERGEANT FIRST CLASS DAVID JONES
US Army 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade

“What does it take to make a new battlegroup?

Relationships play an absolutely invaluable role. You have to build trust before any meaningful way forward can be forged.


— TEXT ON SCREEN —

BUILDING A NATO BATTLEGROUP

IN BULGARIA

AFTER RUSSIA’S BRUTAL INVASION OF UKRAINE

NATO DECIDED TO FORM FOUR NEW BATTLEGROUPS

AS THE BATTLEGROUP IN BULGARIA STANDS UP US ARMY ADVISORS ARE HELPING BUILD THE BONDS NEEDED FOR SUCCESS



—SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH —

SERGEANT FIRST CLASS DAVID JONES
US Army 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade

“I’ve advised everything from operations all the way down to basic rifleman tactics and anything in between.

One of the things that we’ve worked with the Bulgarians on is the battlegroup Standard Operating Procedures. This ensures that all these subordinate companies coming from a multitude of different nations, can unify under one cohesive banner. It creates an identity amongst the battlegroup.”

STAFF SERGEANT COURTNEY FOSTER
US Army 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade

“It’s been an extremely rewarding experience. The Bulgarian Army has been absolutely welcoming of myself and my entire team, and we’ve been able to build cohesion very quickly and work very well together over the last few months.”

SOUNDBITE IN BULGARIAN –

LIEUTENANT COLONEL VELIN KEHAYOV
Bulgarian Army 42nd Mechanised Battalion

“As is known, Bulgaria is located geographically on the other side of the Black Sea, which means it’s extremely close to the conflict in Ukraine. So the biggest benefit of creating the battlegroup is that by strengthening NATO’s eastern defence potential, it contributes to strengthening the defence potential of both our country and the region as a whole.”

SOUNDBITE IN ENGLISH –

STAFF SERGEANT COURTNEY FOSTER
US Army 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade

“We all know what each other wants, and once we build that rapport and trust with each other, we don’t need to speak the same language. We don’t need to have the same background or do things the same way because at the end of the day, we’re all working together to achieve that desired goal.”

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