3/4 ABCT arrives in Bulgaria for deterrence role

NOVO SELO, Bulgaria — As the M2 Bradley fighting vehicles drove into the motor pool Feb. 21, fresh off trains from Poland, a group of journalists from Bulgaria’s national news outlets filmed their arrival.

Approximately 125 Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion (“Fighting Eagles”), 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, deployed to Novo Selo Training Area Feb. 15 to conduct training with Bulgarian land forces that will be focused on strengthening interoperability and sustaining readiness.

Their equipment — including 14 M2A3 Bradley fighting vehicles and an M3A3 Bradley fire support team vehicle — arrived about a week later to Bulgaria.

“I am glad to be here at Novo Selo with my Soldiers,” said Capt. Sean Griffin, the Company A commander. “Now that our equipment is here, we are excited to begin training. One of the things we will accomplish during our time here is we will train with our Bulgarian colleagues as well as engage the local community to learn about our shared cultures and customs.”

Beyond Bulgaria, the Fighting Eagles combined arms battalion deployed from Poland to Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase, Romania, a week prior to Company A’s arrival in Bulgaria, bringing 500 U.S. troops, M1 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley fighting vehicles.

“This is a great opportunity for us to train with our NATO allies and develop interoperability,” said Lt. Col. Jason Sabat, commander, 1st Bn., 8th Inf. Regt., while speaking to Bulgarian media on Tuesday.

Col. Yordan Yordanov, Deputy Commander of the Joint Facilities and Coordination Facilities Directorate, Bulgarian Ministry of Defense, stood side by side with Sabat to emphasize the joint partnership in the training exercises.

Atlantic Resolve is U.S. and NATO allies’ and partners’ commitment to collective security in Europe. Since the start of their arrival in Germany and Poland on Jan. 5, 3/4 ABCT soldiers are now operating in seven countries throughout central and eastern Europe to conduct bilateral training with their host-nation counterparts and multinational exercises.

More than 3,500 soldiers, 80 tanks, 130 Bradley fighting vehicles and 18 Paladin howitzers from the “Iron Brigade” are operating in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Germany, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The brigade’s movement from Poland to seven other NATO countries demonstrates U.S. Army Europe’s ability to freely move across Europe, providing the capability to rapidly respond to potential threats against NATO allies.