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US troops deploy to Bulgaria as part of NATO operation to support Eastern European allies

US troops have deployed to Bulgaria as part of a NATO operation to support Eastern European allies from potential aggression by Russia, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The move is the latest in a series of multinational training and security cooperation activities along the alliance’s eastern front. It comes at a tenuous time in the relationship between the Kremlin and the fledgling administration of President Donald Trump, who just last week voiced unusually strong support for NATO after repeatedly objecting to its relevancy and funding.

One hundred twenty troops from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, from Fort Carson, Colorado, arrived Wednesday at the Novo Selo training range in eastern Bulgaria, according to the Bulgarian statement. They’re due to be joined by heavy military equipment and armored vehicles by the end of the week.

“This year joint exercises and training will be increased at the Novo Selo training grounds,”

said the ministry, adding that its goal is to develop and strengthen cooperation on a national and allied level.

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