Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Bulgarian armed forces integrated into NATO

Updated: 2011-09-27 20:41


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SOFIA - Bulgarian Chief of Defense General Simeon Simeonov and US Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander of Joint Force Command Naples, on Tuesday signed a Declaration on the completion of Bulgarian Armed Forces' integration into NATO.

"You have demonstrated the required operational capabilities necessary for inclusion in the NATO Force Structure and Integrated Air Defense System," Locklear said at the signing ceremony.

He said NATO was very pleased with the progress Bulgarian armed forces made in the integration process.

According to Locklear, the inclusion of Bulgarian units into the NATO pool of forces would increase the Alliance's operational capability and "significantly contribute" to global and regional security.

Bulgaria, a NATO member since 2004, has a 610-member contingent in Afghanistan.

In September 2010, Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov said the country would provide NATO with a 4,300 to 4,500-strong mechanized brigade for operations under the Washington Treaty. For NATO operations not covered by this treaty, Bulgaria was ready to contribute a 1,000-strong mechanized battalion, he said.


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