site.btaChief of Defence: Noble Blueprint Exercise Demonstrates Unity and Determination for Deterrence and Defence in Black Sea Region
Bulgaria's Chief of Defence, Admiral Emil Eftimov, said on Tuesday: "The Noble Blueprint 23 exercise demonstrates the unity and determination for deterrence and defence in the Black Sea region and our readiness for a collective response." He was talking after demonstrations during the Noble Blueprint 2023 exercise held at the Novo Selo Training Area (Southeastern Bulgaria), the Defence Ministry said.
Admiral Eftimov also said: "As host country, Bulgaria is making efforts to create the necessary conditions for effective joint training of outfits of the Bulgarian Armed Forces and the forces provided by our allies. Bulgaria participates actively in the implementation of NATO's enhanced vigilance measures and contributes to strengthening the Alliance's deterrence and defence capabilities in response to the war in Ukraine."
Admiral Eftimov noted that being a country on the southeastern flank of the Alliance close to the war zone, Bulgaria has to continuously upgrade its national defence capabilities, maintain interaction with the Allied forces and be interoperable with them. "This is the only way that together, we will be able to meet adequately the threats to national and collective security," he said.
Admiral Eftimov welcomed Admiral Stuart Munsch, Commander of the NATO Joint Force Command in Naples, and thanked the Commanders of Bulgaria's Joint Forces Command, Air Force and Land Forces - Major-General Valeri Tsolov, Major-General Dimitar Petrov and Major-General Deyan Deshkov, as well as Colonel Michelangelo Genchi, Commander of the Multinational Battlegroup Bulgaria Headquarters with Italy as the Framework Nation, and all commanders and servicepersons from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the United States.
Admiral Munsch said NATO is an alliance of 31 countries united in the name of collective defence. Its commitment to defend every inch of NATO territory ensures security and contributes to the prosperity of the nations of the Alliance. The peace and stability of NATO nations are preserved through constant vigilance in the joint efforts to strengthen cooperation and their ability to defend themselves as one, he said.
The NATO Joint Force Command Naples interacted with the host country and each of the participants to ensure the success of the exercise, Admiral Munsch said. Bulgaria and many of the Allies participating in the exercise are located on the Alliance's southeastern flank, which is quite close to the war in Ukraine. In this time of dangers and threats, a firm hand and determination are required, he said.
On Tuesday, participants in Noble Blueprint 2023 from the Multinational Battlegroup demonstrated their joint offensive capabilities. Nearly 220 troops from a mechanized platoon, a sniper team, an engineer platoon, an artillery section, an artillery mortar platoon, two mechanized companies and an air defence unit with a total of 53 combat and logistics vehicles, including drones, participated in the three phases of the exercise. A medical evacuation of an injured serviceman was carried out, using an ambulance and a Black Hawk helicopter.