NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Bulgaria reached full operational capability on Wednesday, say the Alliance.

The milestone was marked by a ceremony presided over by Bulgaria’s Chief of Defence, Admiral Emil Eftimov, and the Commander of Italy’s Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo.

“Just days after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the battlegroup was established in Kabile on 1 March, on the basis of the Bulgarian Land Forces’ 42nd Mechanized Battalion. Italy assumed the role of framework nation in mid-October, contributing some 740 personnel from the infantry regiment “Torino”, under the command of Colonel Francesco Alaimo.”

The total strength of the battlegroup is of over 1000 troops, provided by host country Bulgaria, as well as by Albania, Greece, Italy, the Republic of North Macedonia, and the United States. Montenegro is also scheduled to deploy personnel in early 2023.

“Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, NATO has implemented the largest reinforcement of our collective defence in a generation, enhancing our ability to defend all Allies on land, at sea, in the air, in cyber space, and in space.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO has stepped up again, including with eight multinational battlegroups from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea – one each in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. These battlegroups are multinational and combat-ready. They demonstrate the strength of the transatlantic bond, and their presence makes clear that an attack on one Ally would be considered an attack on the whole Alliance.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago

Not sure why it has taken 9.5 months to achieve FOC of just a single BG. NATO needs to move a bit faster than that.

PeterS
PeterS
11 months ago

Small numbers at present but Putin’s war has really galvanized NATO. New members and existing members upping defence budgets ( just as Trump wanted!) have greatly enhanced NATOs capability and, importantly for a defensive alliance, its credibility

PeterS
PeterS
11 months ago

Re-posting comment that disappeared. Putin’s war has done what Trump failed to achieve: persuade reluctant members to meet the 2% spending commitment. With several countries going beyond that and new members added, the alliance is looking in better shape than for decades. These exercises enhance NATOs capability and, as important, its credibility as a deterrent force.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

I wonder how many NATO members will be investing in these.

“Alexander Kuhrt, Rheinmetall’s director for its tracked vehicle product portfolio, expressed confidence in the Panther’s prospects on a NATO market estimated by the European Defence Agency at 500–800 or more vehicles in 2025–35, including upgrades, growing to 5,000–8,000 or more MBTs after 2035.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/weapons-headlines/latest/rheinmetall-identifies-markets-for-kf51-panther-tank

Rheinmetall will supply Ukraine with two Skynex air-defence systems at the beginning of 2024

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/weapons-headlines/latest/rheinmetall-to-supply-ukraine-with-skynex-after-confirming-qatar-delivery

Last edited 11 months ago by Nigel Collins
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Putin has galvanised NATO – and other friendlies – into action in a way that other could only dream of.

It proved that NATO was not brain dead but Micron proved that French leadership was brain dead and only self interested. A position the French continue with undisputed leadership. Well in this the French are leading….the French and maybe the Germans……?

Esteban
Esteban
11 months ago

So a thousand troops in Bulgaria….. Yeah that’s a game changer.

Esteban
Esteban
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

And guess what it’s just a tiny little tripwire show until Daddy has to come bail you out again. If Europe wants to get serious about defense then you might want to get goddamn get on it I think the previous administration here mentioned something about that but it was ignored. And now you have a big ass European war. And everyone has to pay. And some of people on the planet are tired of paying for it when the real war is going to be on the other side of the world. Take care of your own goddamn neighborhood..

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

A valid point well made. Most on here would agree with you there.
The “previous administration” while right to demand Europe raises its own defence spending & capabilities, also fawned over Putin like he had some leverage over that U.S.president.

Airborne
Airborne
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Oh dear, you get so angry all the time! More Brit squaddie socks in your tumble dryer again! It’s ok, you can wear them and pretend to be a Brit!

Dern
Dern
11 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

He’s not realised that none of the countries “whose defence he is paying for” are involved with a Russian invasion has he?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Agree. For too long Europe has taken the peace dividend and hidden behind UK, USA , Canadian deployed forces. Utterly reliant on Anglosphere generosity and determination to do the right thing. Whilst our European “friends and allies” sneer and mock us whilst channeling equivalent defence funds into public infrastructure. Is it any wonder Germany has a world class autobahn network or that Dutch, Danish, German hospitals, trains etc are better than ours. They don’t provide a nuclear detergent. Nuclear attack submarines. Carrier strike groups etc etc. The future war is in the Western Pacific and against a far more dangerous… Read more »

Dern
Dern
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Good point. Let me check the list of our own wars we where involved with in the last 60 years.
Suez. American help? HA.
Northern Ireland. American Help? For the IRA.
The Falklands. American Help? Regan: “Hey can you just let the Argies have the Islands?”

Meanwhile;
Korea, American War. British and Commonwealth Troops sent.
Iraq. American War. British Division Sent.
Afghanistan. American War. British Brigade permanently stationed in Helmand for nearly 20 years.
Iraq (again). American War. British Division Sent.

Yeah Esteban, maybe it’s time you take care of your own sodding neighbourhood.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

the American arrogance with its place in the

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

typical American arrogance no wonder nobody likes them anymore

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Its a tripwire. SOP.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
11 months ago

french self interested? they always have been they and their illusions of long gone grandeur make them one of the alliances weak point.

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

If we all hadn’t cut back our forces so far NATO may have deterred Putins Feb invasion of Ukraine. That & Biden & Boris both saying basically to Russia- Don’t invade, but if you do we will not commit forces to oppose you. Virtually gave Putin the green light. -Blinding incompetance & stunning naivity.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Agree there. It was utter stupidity going on record to tell Putin there would be no military consequence for his invasion of Ukraine. If they had just kept quiet and pretended there might be a reaction. Possibly start by forward deploying rapid reaction battle groups and air support to Poland and Romania. Putin wouldn’t have risked an invasion. It’s almost as if USA and UK wanted Putin embroiled in a costly attritional war in Ukraine to degrade his military.

Dern
Dern
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

NATO didn’t deter Khrushchev from invading Hungary in 56, nor Brezhnev from invvading Czechoslovakia in 68, nor Gorbachev from invading Afghan in 79.

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi Dern. Not quite the same then. Then these countries were firmly under Soviet empire control. They were Soviet satellite states at the time, Afghan excepted. Ukraine is a sovereign, independant nation now which modern Russia had a treaty with to respect & safe guard their integrity(UK & U.S. pledged that too), albeit already violated by the illegal Donbas & Ukraine seizures.

Dern
Dern
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

All of them where sovereign independent nations, just happened to have Moscow friendly governments, that where overthrown, or threatened by popular uprisings. Just like Ukraine. The only difference is Ukraine managed to spend the last 8 years fighting off the Russians, while Hungary and Czechoslovakia caved very quickly to the Red Army. I lie, the other difference is that while Hungary and CZ had Moscow friendly goverments installed in 1945, Ukraine had a Moscow friendly government installed in 1990, because it had been part of the soviet union before that. But, nitpicking the difference between sovereign countries in a major… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
11 months ago

See, that is a Freccia IFV with a 25mm gun and some also with Spike ATGW.

Developed from Centauro. No fuss.

Last edited 11 months ago by AlexS