site.btaDefence Ministry Marks 30th Anniversary of Tennessee-Bulgaria National Guard Partnership
Defence Minister Todor Tagarev honoured servicemen and veterans with outstanding contribution to the development of the Partnership Programme between the Bulgarian Defence Ministry and the Tennessee National Guard during the official ceremony marking three decades of military cooperation between Bulgaria and the State of Tennessee, the Defence Ministry said Thursday.
The ceremony, which took place at the Lozenets residence in Sofia, was attended by US Deputy Ambassador to Bulgaria Andrea Brouillette-Rodriguez, Deputy Defence Chief Lieutenant General Tsanko Stoykov, Tennessee Adjutant General Brigadier General Warner A. Ross, Major General Gus Hargett - Adjutant General of the Tennessee Department of Military in the period 2002-2009, senior officers from the Bulgarian Army and the Tennessee National Guard.
Earlier in the day a bilateral conference on the joint training of the Bulgarian Armed Forces with the Tennessee National Guard was held at the Georgi Rakovski Military Academy. "Bilateral cooperation in the field of training and exercises is a key factor for building capabilities, combat readiness and interoperability," Lieutenant General Tsanko Stoykov said at the opening of the forum organised by the Defence Ministry Headquarters on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the partnership programme. He pointed out that Bulgaria currently holds more than 60 events a year, most of them initiated through the US-Bulgaria Military Cooperation Programme.
The main objectives of the conference were to review the exercises planned for the coming year, coordinate the conduct of training on bilateral military cooperation and discuss opportunities for deepening the partnership.
Bulgaria is one of the first 13 countries out of 92 to be included in the Partnership Program between the US and foreign countries. The Tennessee-Bulgaria National Guard Partnership was initiated by the US National Guard in 1993 and developed as part of the bilateral military cooperation between Bulgaria and the US. It covers a wide range of activities, including conducting bilateral and multinational training at home and abroad, as well as providing humanitarian support in various regions of Bulgaria. The choice of Tennessee as a partner state was determined by its relative similarities to Bulgaria in size, climate and population.