SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), June 25, 2018, Author: Boyko Nikolov, Photo credit: Wikipedia
Up to 160 service members from the 68th Special Forces Brigade and Land Forces of the Bulgarian Army will take part in the NATO mission in Afghanistan “Resolute Support”, and their major tasks will be organization of the check regime of the automobile and pedestrian traffic at Kandahar Airport and training of the service members from the Afghan National Army, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
“As regular service members from the Bulgarian Army you have the needed training for fulfilling that mission. I am convinced that the knowledge and skills that you have received at the unified training centre will allow you to fulfil your mission with honour and dignity and come back with heads up as Bulgarian soldiers who have responsibly fulfilled their duties,” said the Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov at the official ceremony on the departure of the 36th Bulgarian military contingent.
The official ceremony on the departure of the Bulgarian service members was held on 22nd June in front of the chapel-mausoleum “St. Georgi Pobedonosets” in the town of Pleven.
Commander of the departing to Afghanistan contingent of Bulgarian military members is Colonel Veselin Vasilev from the Joint Forces Command. He has three successful missions in Afghanistan within the period from 2009 to 2015, as well as participations in the operation on restoration and stabilization of Iraq in 2004 and 2006. Commander of the security company is Major Velin Kehayov, who also has experience in preceding international missions in Afghanistan under the aegis of the North Atlantic Alliance.
The Bulgarian service members were welcomed by the Chief of Defence General Andrey Botsev. The official ceremony on the departure was also attended by the Commander of the Joint Forces Command Lieutenant General Lyubcho Todorov and the Commander of the Land Forces Major General Mihail Popov.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the 68th Special Forces Brigade has participated in military missions in Iraq since 2003, and since 2006 – in Afghanistan. The major tasks for which the Bulgarian special units are trained to solve in military situation are reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, military support, combat search and rescue, guerrilla and anti-guerrilla warfare.
Due to their excellent performance during missions, the special units conduct multiple courses for representatives of other Bulgarian and foreign formations belonging to various army units, and the trainings are mainly on counter-terrorism, sniper training and combat activities in closed spaces.
From 2015 Commander of the 68th Special Forces Brigade is Brigadier General Yavor Mateev.