3ID, Bulgarian Soldiers train together for Exercise Strike Back
By Spc. Ryan TatumApril 25, 2016
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment wasted no time to start training with their Bulgarian allies as they took part in Exercise Strike Back at Bulgaria's Novo Selo Training Area from April 11 -- 22 immediately after drawing Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles from the European Activity Set.Exercise Strike Back is a Bulgarian Armed Forces exercise that certifies the Bulgarian 38th Mechanized Battalion to respond to crisis operations while demonstrating the interoperability of the Armed Forces and Land Forces.The inclusion of Soldiers from 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division helps build relationships between the two Armies while making sure they are able to fight as a combined force."We are honored to be here and train with the Bulgarians to increase interoperability and showcase how strong we are when we work together," said Capt. Samuel Herbert, the commander for Company A, 1st Bn., 64th Arm. Rgmt. "As two different armies we are coming together under one chain of command to conduct some really great training in a great training area."The exercise included section to platoon-level situational training exercises on offensive and defensive operations, providing both countries to learn the tactics and techniques used by their allies."We conducted some [military operations in urban terrain] training with the Bulgarian Soldiers and we were able to show them how we enter and clear a room, then the Bulgarian Soldiers showed us how they execute their entering and clearing a room," said Staff Sgt. Kemosi Evans, an infantryman with Co. A, 1st Bn., 64th Arm. Rgmt. "We moved up as one echelon together with our Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and the Bulgarian dismounts with their vehicles, as we cleared though a village to ensure there was no enemy."Evans said the exercise was the first time he was able to train alongside another country's Army."We got an opportunity to work with a NATO ally, which is the first in my military career versus my previous deployments," said Evans. "It was very educational, not only for myself but for my Soldiers."Herbert echoed Evans in saying the opportunity to train alongside the Bulgarians is something most Soldiers do not get to experience."For most of the Soldiers this is an opportunity unlike any other that they will ever have in their career," said Herbert. "The President of Bulgaria said himself how great it was to see the Americans working side-by-side with the Bulgarians. It was just a great experience for everyone involved and we are really proud to be able to be a part of it."