Bulgaria to Host 155-Strong US Marine CorpsDefense | June 26, 2015, Friday // 09:45| views
A US Marine Crops unit will be deployed to Bulgaria this autumn, AP wrote late Thursday.
The unit of 155 Marines will be stationed here for eighteen months.
It will be equipped with four Abrams main battle tanks, six light armored vehicles and three howitzers, Brig Gen Norman Cooling is quoted by the Marine Corps Times as saying.
The US marines will be part of the Black Sea Rotational Force, which will conduct six-month rotational deployments to the Novo Selo military ground in Southeastern Bulgaria. The aim is to enhance collective capability between the US Marine Corps and international partners.
Cooling also notes the Americans will provide training to Bulgarian, Romanian and other Allied troops in the year-and-a-half period.
There will be three six-month shifts with each to remain in Bulgaria for that period and than leave, as part of efforts to set up joint response forces.
This comes as the Pentagon announced over the past days plans to position heavy weapons in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and the Baltics, citing the need to "reassure" Eastern European allies amid the continuing developments in Ukraine and potential "threats" stemming from Russia.
Deployment plans have sparked much controversy in Bulgaria, with executive officials giving conflicting accounts as to current arrangements between Bulgaria and the US.
Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov on Thursday told private national bTV station that Bulgaria had not yet been informed of the Pentagon's deployment plans.