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Welcome Address by Mr. Krasimir Karakachanov – MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

Welcome Address by Mr. Krasimir Karakachanov – MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria

PLOVDIV (Bulgaria), May 30, 2018, Source: Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria, Photo: gabrovodaily.info

Dear Participants,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

The International Exhibition Hemus 2018 – Defence, Antiterrorism and Security takes place during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In the course of these six months while all eyes of Europe are drawn to us, Bulgaria put forward four major priority areas, one of which is “Security and Stability”. The European citizens need security and stability. Without them, it will be difficult to foster and achieve European values. We will therefore focus our sustained efforts precisely on security, emphasizing the enhancement of border control, exchange of information and prevention.

In this context, the specialized international defence equipment exhibition Hemus 2018 that has won recognition over the years as an international forum, concentrating research, technologies, specific products and systems at a single venue, opens up a real opportunity for Bulgaria not only to host, but also to actively participate in the process of sharing both experience and ideas in the field of defence and security.

The priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency in the sphere of defence include active assistance in fulfilling the initiatives on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, support for the EU defence capability development, enhancing security of the Western Balkans and deepening the EU-NATO cooperation. Bulgaria emphasizes the work related to the proposal for а Regulation establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).

The EU and NATO policy reflects the unity of four key elements – security and defence capabilities, research and technologies, cooperation, and industry. Bulgaria as a full EU and NATO Member State is capable of working for the development of these key spheres by making use of the capabilities and potential provided by the European Defence Agency and the European Defence Fund especially under the Permanent Structures Cooperation (PESCO).

In this regard, we need to identify the right mechanisms to ensure broad participation and cooperation in research, technology, and production activities, both at the national and international levels. Hemus 2018 provides an opportunity for our country to go beyond the national context, as regards delivering defence capabilities in technological areas where Bulgaria has traditionally boasted research, development, and industrial capacity.

The dynamic security environment places new, higher demands on Bulgarian defence and the use of the Armed Forces in crisis situations in accordance with their constitutionally assigned duties and responsibilities. To guarantee the effective employment of our Armed Forces in crisis situations, we must first ensure that they have been sufficiently and adequately trained, enabled, and provided for in advance. This means managing to fully and efficiently utilize the financial resources provided by the Bulgarian taxpayer by turning them into actual defence capabilities. It is precisely this that is the philosophy underlying the governance programme elaborated by our Government. The parameters of our defence policy today are laid down in the national strategic documents adopted by the National Assembly and the Government: the updated National Security Strategy, the National Defence Strategy, the Programme for the Development of the Defence Capabilities of the Bulgarian Armed Forces 2020 (Programme 2020), and the ensuing Plan for the Development of Defence Capabilities 2020 (Plan 2020).

These parameters, however, are brought to fruition through the timely and full implementation of the measures specified in the “Defence” section of the Governance Programme of the Bulgarian Government. According to that Programme, work focuses on two main priorities: “The Armed Forces as a Reliable Guarantor of the Security of the Country” and “Introducing Military Training in Schools. Broadening the Possibilities for Voluntary Military Service. Increasing the Reserve’s Capacity.”

Six specific goals and 41 measures arise from these tasks. Presently, our efforts remain focused on the implementation of the goals set out in Programme 2020 and the activities addressed in Plan 2020. Based on the lessons learned from practice, our task is to fulfill to the fullest extent possible the priorities outlined in these documents within the prescribed timelines. At the same time, our strategic thinking, as a component of our activities, demands from us to consider the perspective of our efforts for the upcoming period – after 2020. The first step, the development of a roadmap for a new long-term strategic document, the Programme for the Development of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria until 2032, has already been taken, thus aligning our national level planning with NATO and EU planning process.

We have the ambitious goal to effect those Armed Forces modernization projects which should have already been finalized. And we have the will, in the process of modernization of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, to look into and provide opportunities and incentives for the presence of Bulgarian Defence Industry in this development.

Speaking of the financial parameters, we already avail of an adopted by the Council of Ministers National Plan for Increasing Defence Spending to 2% of GDP until 2024. This plan stipulates measures related to the implementation of our commitments both under NATO and the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation.

A new accent is that we envisage 20% of the budget to be allocated exactly for new and interoperable armaments and assets at high-end technology level. All these efforts are aimed at the achievement of our main goal – to enhance the position of Bulgaria as a strong, active, reliable and respected member of NATO and the European Union.

This context has triggered our major argument in favour of the theme of the International Scientific Conference: “Scientific Research, Innovation and Industrial Cooperation to the interest of the Common European Defence and Security”, to be held within the programme of Hemus 2018.

The 13th International exhibition Hemus 2018Defence, Aniterrorism and Security proposes an exceptional opportunity for the companies of the Bulgarian Defence Industry to showcase their achievements and establish new partnerships to ensure the development of defence capabilities.

The specialized International HEMUS Defence Equipment Exhibition is a recognized trademark in the sphere of defence industry and has become a forum for coordination and partnership between the Government, the Defence Industry, the Armed Forces and academia in pursuit of appropriate response to the risks and threats in the name of our common security.

I wish every success to all exhibitors, participants and guests of Hemus 2018Defence, Aniterrorism and Security!

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Bulgarian Military News

A Delegation of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence Will Visit the USA

A Delegation of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence Will Visit the USA

SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), 21 August 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Lockheed Martin/ F-16 Block 70

A delegation of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence led by the Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov will visit the USA from 27th to 31st August 2018, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The visit is organized after an invitation of the Chief of US Office of Defence Cooperation in Sofia, Bulgaria and is prompted by the declared willingness for partnership in sectors of mutual interest, as well as by the readiness for increasing the strategic dialogue between both countries as reported from the Ministry.

Read more: U.S. and Bulgarian Navy Servicemen Participated in Joint Exercise in Varna
Read more: Bulgarian Navy Will Receive New Motorboats for $2 million as a Donation from US

The schedule of the Deputy Defence Minister Zapryanov in Washington involves meetings in the Pentagon, the State Department, and the US Congress.

Unofficial information reveals that the future offer, which is expected to be submitted by the USA in relation to the procedure for selection of a new fighter for the Bulgarian Army, will be also covered by the discussions with the Bulgarian Delegation in Washington. As BulgarianMilitary.com reported recently, it has been sent to the USA requests for information about new or used aircrafts – the Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin’s F-16, however, as it has been stated several times by the Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov, it is given preference to the purchase of a new fighter. The interest of the Bulgarian Air Force as of the moment is directed toward the newest generation of the Fighting Falcon F-16 – Block 70/72, known as Viper.

Inquiries for offers for new and used aircrafts have been also sent from the Ministry of Defence to the Swedish Saab (for Gripen C/D) and the French Dassault (for the Rafale); for new aircrafts – to the German Eurofighter (for Eurofighter 3 Tranche); for used aircrafts – to Portugal (for F-16), Israel (for F-16) and Italy (for Eurofighter Tranche 1). The final price, which will be discussed after the offers are received, shall include training of pilots and technicians, sustainment, and armaments.

It is expected the contract to be signed by the end of 2018.

Read more: Official: Bulgaria Will Request Bids for 5 Combat Aircrafts and Their Modifications
Read more: Technical information and unit prices of the five combat aircrafts for which Bulgaria will ask for offers

US companies also show interest in the procedure for selection of 150 infantry combat vehicles.

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U.S. and Bulgarian Navy Servicemen Participated in Joint Exercise in Varna

U.S. and Bulgarian Navy Servicemen Participated in Joint Exercise in Varna
The US Navy (USN) Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer USS CARNEY (DDG 64) underway on the Atlantic Ocean during routine training / Photo credit: Josa Charles A. Ordoqit, USN

VARNA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), 16 August 2018, Editor: Stanislava Georgieva

On 13 August, servicemen from the U.S. and Bulgarian Naval Forces participated in the joint PASSEX-type exercise that this time took place in the Gulf of Varna on the Black Sea. In the training also were involved an American destroyer squadron “USS CARNEY”, which is currently in the Black Sea, and a tactical group of four high-speed patrol boats, which previously were donated by the U.S. Naval Forces to the Bulgarian, and now have the chance to be tested, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Read more: Bulgarian Navy Will Receive New Motorboats for $2 million as a Donation from US

PASSEX is a type of training that is usually done between the Naval Forces of two countries in order to ensure they are capable of interoperability in means of communication and cooperation in times of war or humanitarian relief.

During the training the Bulgarian and U.S. Navy servicemen completed a wide range of tasks such as detecting, tracking, and acquaintance of a high-speed, afloat enemy, which in this case was SURFEX 310. They also performed scenes of detecting asymmetric attacks that had become typical in the modern naval environment. To them are assigned cyber attacks and terrorist tactics.

Read more: The Bulgarian Navy Corvette Bodri Is Participating in Sea Breeze 2018

The exercise was attended by Vice Admiral Lisa Francheti, commander of the US Navy’s 6th Fleet, who is currently deployed in the Black Sea region and the Commander of the Bulgarian Navy Rear Admiral Mitko Petev. Before the start of the training, both of them spoke about the importance in the synchronization of the work and the interoperability of the U.S. and Bulgarian Naval Forces. Later on, they supervised the course of the training from the board of a FPB-M high-speed patrol boat.

The U.S. and Bulgarian Naval Forces that took part in the drill, showed very good tactical preparation. The crew and the group were also appreciated by the Commanders for their interaction capabilities in the joint implementation of tasks and elements of their sea training.

About USS CARNEY
USS Carney (DDG-64) is the 14th destroyer squadron from the Arleigh Burke-class of the United States Naval forces. The ship is named after a former Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Robert Carney, who served during the administration of the U.S. President Eisenhower. In 2012, the destroyer squadron USS Carney has been upgraded into guided-missile destroyer as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Read more: The Bulgarian Naval Exercise BREEZE 2018 is Ongoing

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Bulgarian Naval Forces 139th Anniversary Celebrations in Varna

The Celebrations for the 139th Anniversary of the Bulgarian Navy Started in Ruse

VARNA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), 13 August 2018, Editor: Stanislava Georgieva, Photo credit: BNR

After the official events in Ruse, the celebrations for the 139th anniversary of the Bulgarian Naval Forces, continued in Varna, where on 12th August were held solemn ceremonies, with the participation of Bulgarian official, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The celebrations in Varna were attended by the President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, the Deputy Defense Minister Anatoliy Velichkov, the Chief of Defense General Andrey Botsev, senior officers from the Bulgarian Army and representatives of the state and local authorities, as well.

Read more: The Celebrations for the 139th Anniversary of the Bulgarian Navy Started in Ruse

The official events began with the awarding of diplomas and military ranks to “Class – 2018” of Naval Academy “N. J. Vaptsarov” graduated cadets. Sixteen cadets were awarded officer epaulettes – 6 girls and 10 boys from “Organization and Management Of Navy Tactical Units” discipline, with specialization in “Navigation for the Navy”, “Naval Communication and Radio electronic Systems” and “Ship machines and mechanisms.” Michman Nikolay Genov is the first of the class among the graduated cadets, whose average grade is “Excellent 5.80”.

In his speech, addressed to the newly-graduated naval officers, Anatoliy Velichkov, Deputy Defense Minister wished them to be decisive and to carry their ancestors’ inextinguishable ardor for victory in their hearts.

“In today’s trouble times, when the focus in Black Sea region implies the establishment of huge energy projects, and along with them the increasing military capabilities of other maritime countries, the Ministry of Defense political will is to accomplish the modernization projects and to build new fighting capabilities of the Naval Forces,” he said.

He also acknowledged the teaching staff and the management of the Naval Academy, by saying that with every graduated class they prove their clear vision in the developing of such military personnel that is necessary for the maritime industry and the military fleet as well.

General Andrey Botsev, Chief of Defense, also congratulated the young “Class – 2018” officers of the Naval Academy. He said that they are the new generation that will contribute to the progress of better Bulgarian Army preparation and will ensure Bulgarian maritime sovereignty. “In future, we will rely on you for the development of the Naval Forces”, he added and wished them a lot of success and a tough fighting spirit.

After the diploma ceremony, those who present the Navy celebrations observed elements of a maritime security operation to detain a vessel.

Later on that day, a military ceremony for unveiling a memorial plaque placed on the wall of the pier of Varna Marine station was held. The memorial plaque was gifted by the organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” for their gratitude to the Varna community and Bulgarian sailors.

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700 Servicemen Participated in the Demonstrations within “PLATINUM LION – 2018” Exercise

The Multinational Joint Exercise "Platinium Lion 18" Begins

SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), 9 August 2018, Editor: Stanislava Georgieva, Photo credit: Mil.Gov.ua

On 8 August, this year was held the final stage of the multinational joint exercise „PLATINUM LION – 2018“ at Novo Selo training area that started in 30 July and is scheduled to finish on 10 August. The final demonstrations were observed by the Deputy Chief of Defence Vice Admiral, Emil Eftimov and Chief of the Political Cabinet of the Minister of Defence, Mr. Iliya Nalbantov. The first praised the Land Forces for the demonstrated capabilities of planning, organizing and conducting a stabilizing operation in the appointed area of responsibility of a multinational formation. In this year’s training, armies from eight NATO member states and partner countries take part, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Read more: The Multinational Joint Exercise “Platinium Lion 18” Begins

On Wednesday, the servicemen who participated in the multinational joint exercise have showed the acquired skills and interoperability for conducting tactical actions in a peacekeeping operation. During the training various tasks were completed by the mechanized, mine launcher and tank formations, in the area of defense, offense, patrolling, deploying of control posts, convoying, escorting, as well as actions in urban environment and protection under conditions of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological contamination, also providing fire protection and first aid actions and evacuating injured people.

In front of the journalists the Deputy Commander of the Land Forces Brigadier General Valeri Tsolov, who is in charge of this year “PLATINUM LION” plan, said that he is extremely pleased with the actions of the Bulgarian soldiers of all levels including the planning team of the Land Forces, the 2nd Mechanized Brigade, the companies and platoons commanding officers that skillfully conducted the actions of their subordinate formations, and the tactical actions of the polygon as well.

Read more: The Bulgarian Special Forces Will Participate in a NATO Mission in Afghanistan

„PLATINUM LION – 2018“ is the first from the “PLATINUM LION“ Exercise that is planned and conducted by the the Land Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria. 700 servicemen take part in this year training at Novo Selo training polygon, involving military personnel of Second mechanized brigade of the Bulgarian Land Forces personnel, Specialists training center in Sliven, the Air Forces, Military Police Service, Military Medical Academy, and troops from the Albania, Georgia, Romania, Moldova, Serbia, U.S. and Montenegro. The tasks within „PLATINUM LION – 2018” were completed with more than 100 units of armored vehicles, armored fighting vehicles, artillery systems, 4 tanks, Mi-24 helicopters, Cougar helicopters and other specialized equipment.

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