JTF-East Bulgaria ramps up for training
August 14, 2008
NOVO SELO TRAINING AREA, Bulgaria (Army News Service, Aug. 14, 2008) - Trains rolling into Ziminitsa, Bulgaria, loaded down with vehicles, signaled the onset of operations Monday for Task Force Panther troops scheduled to begin training in Bulgaria as part of Joint Task Force-East 2008.
Bulgarian military and civilian medical and law enforcement personnel worked with members of the Joint Task Force-East Movement Control Team and Soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery to unload vehicles and equipment that will be used in support of the Bulgarian phase of operations at the Novo Selo Training area.
"Today has been a very smooth day," said Capt. Daniel Strangio, the 5-7 ADA S-4 officer. "We transported a total of 103 pieces of equipment from Kaiserslautern here to Bulgaria to support the JTF-East mission."
The 5-7 ADA mission in Bulgaria is to help train Bulgarian counterparts in basic infantry tactics, Strangerio said. Though the training has not yet started, Strangerio believes his interaction with the Bulgarian troops has been positive.
"So far, my short experience with the Bulgarian Soldiers has been very productive and very positive," he said. "I think they are very eager to receive this training in support of the Global War on Terror."
Strangio said that this movement was a great challenge for his unit. A challenge he believes they met and conquered quite well.
"The Soldiers from my battalion have done a tremendous job as far as getting these vehicles trucked both at a battalion level and a garrison level," Strangio said. "It is really a big muscle move to push these vehicles out of Germany to Bulgaria."
Strangio said his unit also moved from Hanau Germany to Kaiserslautern within the last two months.
"This has all been in conjunction with an overall battalion move from one location in Germany to the next. All while training for this actual mission and putting together this whole logistics plan.
I have to say the Soldiers have done a terrific job and have worked very hard to make this mission a success."
(Spc. Jerry Wilson serves with JTF-E Public Affairs.)