NOVO SELO TRAINING AREA, Bulgaria -- Soldiers with U.S. Army Europe and the Bulgarian Land Forces kicked off Saber Guardian 2014 at a ceremony here, Mar. 21, 2014.

Saber Guardian 2014 is a multinational training exercise designed to reinforce U.S. Army Europe's commitment to increasing regional flexibility, preserving and enhancing NATO interoperability, and facilitating multinational training.

USAREUR Deputy Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, and Deputy Commander of the Bulgarian Land Forces, Brig. Gen. Krasimir Kanev, will serve as this year's exercise co-directors.

"While some countries threaten stability in this very region, our peaceful, humanitarian-focused exercise will help bring stability to this geopolitically significant part of the world," Longo said. "Despite the uncertainty of the world right now, I am certain of one thing: that the United States of America will continue to stand in defense of freedom and maintain our commitment to our NATO allies and all of our partners in the face of tyranny."

Kanev, reiterated that the goal of Saber Guardian is to not only find the best way for allied forces to fight together, jointly, but to achieve maximum interoperability.

"The execution of this joint exercise provides an open forum for sharing experience and ideas," Kanev said. "This enables the application of new working models, more progressive and adequate to continual operations."

This year's exercise is part of the USAREUR's annual training and exercise program and has been planned since 2013. Last year's iteration of the training exercise was conducted at the Romanian Land Forces Combat Training Center in Cincu, Romania.

Saber Guardian 2014, scheduled for Mar. 21 through Apr. 3, involves approximately 700 military personnel from twelve participating nations including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey and the U.S.; as well as representatives from NATO.

Read more about Saber Guardian on the exercise microsite at


About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned to advance American strategic interests across Eurasia and has unparalleled capability to prevent conflict, shape the environment and, if necessary, win decisively. The relationships we build during more than 1000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships, and enhance global security.