220 Bulgarian Rangers Come Home from AfghanistanDefense | February 22, 2011, Tuesday // 15:10| views
A total of 600 Bulgarian soldiers and medical staff are currently stationed in Afghanistan in Kabul and Kandahar. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria's Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, and the Head of Defense, General Simeon Simeonov, greeted back home 220 Bulgarian rangers returning from Afghanistan.
The rangers landed at Sofia airport Tuesday.
Angelov spoke about legislative changes which now give the Minister the authority to sent to up to 600 people for training outside the country, saying this allows the servicemen to act in an environment close to the real one.
The national Commander of the Bulgarian contingent in Afghanistan, Colonel Veselin Tserkovski, said the most serious challenge for the rangers was the mission to prepare, monitor and secure the Afghani elections.
Other dangers included the rocket attacks on the Kabul airport and the servicemen have worked hard to prevent them.
The worst incident with Bulgarian soldiers in Afghanistan to date occurred a year in January 2010, when four Bulgarians were wounded in a Taliban rocket attack, with one of them subsequently losing his hand. The incident coincided with the visit to the base of then Bulgarian Defense Minister and now Foreign Affairs Minister, Nikolay Mladenov.
In 2010, Bulgaria increased its Afghanistan contingent as part of the ISAF/NATO forces to 600 troops; half are stationed at the Kandahar airport.
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