Italians to arrive by mid-August to join Bulgaria-based Nato battle group

Up to 750 Italian military personnel with 50 items of military equipment are expected to relocate to Bulgaria by mid-August, Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry said.

The Italians are to be part of the Bulgaria-based Nato battle group, which has Italy as its framework nation.

The Defence Ministry said that six motor convoys with personnel, military equipment and material resources will travel on Bulgaria’s national roads from Greece to the Novo Selo training ground, escorted by Military Police.

The formation of the battle group in Bulgaria was given the go-ahead by the previous government in decisions in March and May 2022.

The battle group will also include a company of up to 140 military personnel from Bulgaria’s army, up to 15 officers in the group’s headquarters, as well as up to 40 military personnel from Albania.

Formations from other Nato countries are expected to join the battle group, the Defence Ministry said.

“The multinational formation will complement the national capabilities to guarantee the security and territorial integrity of our country,” the ministry said.

“The building of a combat-capable battle group on Bulgarian territory is an expression of the determination of our country and the allies to share the responsibility for ensuring the security of the member countries, contributing to strengthening the deterrent defence potential of Nato’s Eastern flank,” it said.

In a separate statement, the Defence Ministry said that on August 6, Defence Chief Admiral Emil Eftimov held talks with the commanding general of United States Army Europe and Africa, General Darryl Williams, who was on a one-day working visit to Bulgaria.

The statement said that they discussed developments in ground forces regarding deterrence and defence of Nato’s Eastern Flank.

Eftimov and Williams reviewed the transformation of the battle group deployed on Bulgarian territory, in accordance with the decisions taken at the Nato Summit in Madrid.

The pace of the exercises and training, as well as the possibilities for increasing the level of interoperability in a multinational format, were discussed.

Eftimov noted the good interaction of the US Cavalry Stryker company with the divisions of the Bulgarian land forces during the joint training, the statement said.

(Photo: Ministero della Difesa)

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