Earlier this month the NATO multinational battlegroup in Bulgaria completed PLATINUM LION 22 at Novo Solo training area, its biggest exercise yet.
NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Bulgaria completed Exercise PLATINUM LION 22, passing an important milestone as it moves towards achieving full operational capability.
The battlegroup currently consists of the Bulgarian Army’s 42nd Mechanised Battalion and a mechanised infantry company from the US Army’s 3rd Armoured Brigade Combat Team. Soldiers from the British Army’s Royal Irish Regiment worked alongside the battlegroup for PLATINUM LION 22, learning how to manoeuvre and communicate with their NATO Allies as they repelled a simulated attack.
The battlegroup in Bulgaria was created following a decision by the North Atlantic Council to reinforce the eastern part of the Alliance, following Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. To help establish the battlegroup, the US Army’s 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade has spent time mentoring the 42nd Mechanised Battalion at Novo Selo, helping them learn how to operate in a multinational context.
The Italian Army will assume leadership of the battlegroup this fall and lead the way for other nations to participate including Bulgaria and the United States.
This NATO Multimedia footage, shot in early August and released on the 17th, includes shots of Bulgarian, UK and US troops during the exercise, as well as interviews with Bulgarian and US officers.
- 00:00 ~ Battlegroup in Bulgaria and UK troops in formation
- 00:22 ~ Bulgarian T-72 main battle tanks moving out
- 00:44 ~ T-72 main battle tanks on the move
- 00:57 ~ T-72 MAIN BATTLE TANK ON THE MOVE
- 01:00 ~ MT-LB armoured personnel carrier on the move
- 01:04 ~ MT-LB armoured personnel carrier on the move
- 01:20 ~ US Army soldiers manning a checkpoint
- 01:29 ~ US Army Bradley fighting vehicle on the move
- 01:39 ~ US troops engaging in dry-fire combat exercise
- 02:15 ~ US Army Bradley fighting vehicle moving out
- 02:23 ~ US Army troops and vehicles on the move
- 02:46 ~ Helmet of British Army soldier from the Royal Irish Regiment
- 02:49 ~ British Army Ocelot [FOXHOUND] vehicle on the move
- 02:55 ~ British Army troops engaging in dry-fire combat exercise
- 04:01 ~ US and Bulgarian soldiers examining communications equipment
- 04:11 ~ US soldier conferring with UK soldier
- 04:17 ~ US and Bulgarian soldiers
- 04:42 ~ Soundbite (Bulgarian), Bulgarian Army Lt Col Velin Kehayov, Commander, 42nd Mechanised Battalion: “It is important for NATO to have a battlegroup in Bulgaria, because Bulgaria is a member of NATO, actively participates in NATO activities, and because of the country’s location on NATO’s eastern flank, I think that is where one of the battlegroups of NATO should be located.”
- 05:07 ~ Soundbite (Bulgarian), Lt Col Velin Kehayov: “As a level of increasing security for Bulgaria and for the region as a whole, the first thing is that by forming and increasing this defence potential of the south-eastern flank of NATO, the defence potential of Bulgaria is also increased.”
- 05:27 ~Soundbite (Bulgarian), Lt Col Velin Kehayov: “At this moment, Bulgaria and the United States of America are participating, the other possible participants are in the process of being joined and are discussing.”
- 05:37 ~ Soundbite, US Army Major Kevin Mott, 4th Security Forces Assistance Brigade: “So we’re currently located at Novo Selo Training Area here in Bulgaria. We’re here training the multinational battlegroup, conducting exercise PLATINUM LION. This is the biggest exercise the battlegroup has conducted to date. Really, it’s a test to see if all the training we’ve done leading up to this event have ensured that we can operate as a team that operates very efficiently and can communicate across the formation in order for Colonel Kehayov, the battlegroup commander, to conduct mission command, and command and control over his formation.”
- 06:07 ~ Soundbite, US Army Major Kevin Mott: “So the battlegroup currently consists of a Bulgarian mechanised infantry battalion with a US mechanised infantry company, a Bradley company that’s attached to it. We’ve currently been conducting a series of training exercises here at Novo Selo Training Area in Bulgaria, with PLATINUM LION being the biggest exercise so far, really a battalion-level operation. Here in the near-term, the Italian Army will take over as the framework nation of the battlegroup, which means they’ll provide the preponderance of the forces, and we’ll have six additional nations participate in the battlegroup here in Bulgaria.”