US Marines from the Black Sea Rotational Force are exercising in Bulgaria with Bulgarian and Romanian troops in Exercise Platinum Lion 16-2.Some 350 soldiers from the three NATO allies are drilling together from 7-15 January with the aim of increasing readiness and demonstrating their collective ability to operate as a single force committed to protecting the sovereignty of NATO allies and other European partners.*
Although the BSRF Marines are rotated into and out of Eastern Europe,their M1A1 Abrams tanks are now permanently based at the Platinum Lion site,the Novo Selo Training Area.On 8 January,the Marines in these M1A1s conducted manoeuvers with the Bulgarians in their T-72 tanks,in a scenario of repulsing an armoured attack.
Also on 8 January,Marines with the Combined Arms Company,BSRF and Romanian forces conducted patrols.The Marines in addition rehearsed an Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System breech.The APOBS is used to clear a footpath through a wire or minefield obstacle for personnel.
On 7 January,the BSRF Marines,Bulgarian and Romanian troops had spent the afternoon familiarising themselves with each of the three country's weapons and vehicles.*
The BSRF is headquartered at Mihail Kogalniceanu Military Base,Romania.It is an element of US Marine Forces Europe and Africa.