NOVO SELO TRAINING AREA, Bulgaria -- Three military police officers from different garrisons in Europe combined their knowledge and experience of law enforcement and military justice while helping to protect the community here during the multinational exercise Saber Guardian 17.The three Soldiers also assisted this joint-operated installation foster stronger ties with their Bulgarian counterparts through daily team patrols and shared decision-making -- demonstrating leadership and interoperability capabilities championed by U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges' "Pillars of Strong Europe."Novo Selo Training Area, an expansive military base with U.S.-built infrastructure and vastly diverse training capabilities, is ensconced in the heart of Bulgaria's rich agricultural landscape.Miles from the nearest city and only an hour from the Black Sea, the base has also become a central axis point for U.S. Army and NATO operations in recent years, said Julia Sibilla, site director for the NSTA's garrison mission."NSTA is a premier, fully-equipped training facility for the U.S., our allies and our partners," Sibilla said. "It is a recharging, energizing place for service members to arrive, take care of basic needs and then go out and train."Over 5,000 NATO forces rucking, driving and jumping for Saber Guardian 17, a U.S. Army Europe-led exercise that drew about 45,000 troops from 23 allied and partner nations toward a common goal of collective defense, bunked in the two-story billeting and tents stretched along miles of training grounds at NSTA.The three military police from garrisons Ansbach, Bavaria and Rheinland-Pfalz traveled to the forward base during the lead-up and execution of Saber Guardian and for other follow-up exercises to augment emergency services and law enforcement measures at a garrison that under normal circumstances has under one thousand troops in its footprint.Currently, NSTA has two military provost marshal officers -- filled by rotating Army reservists from Puerto Rico -- and two Army civilians: a director and physical security specialist."With thousands of additional Soldiers here for the exercise, we knew we needed a greater presence of military police to provide security and safety," said NSTA provost marshal Capt. Peter Lopez. "No matter the exercise, community safety is paramount. It allows Soldiers and commanders in the field to focus solely on training."The augmentees required very little local training or onboarding, Lopez said. Each bringing five or more years of experience as military police officers, the Soldiers quickly integrated into the small DES team and expanded the scope of emergency and policing capabilities during Saber Guardian.Together, the Soldiers created a 24-7 police desk, streamlined what was once a cumbersome base access process for U.S. and NATO soldiers, and augmented traditional DES functions like vehicle registration, criminal investigations, escorts and patrols, said DES director Roland Hesmondhalgh."These guys do everything. They go out, take pictures, collect evidence, do fingerprints -- all things in the past, we didn't have the capability or manpower to do," Lopez said.Most notable, however, according to Sibilla, is the impact these Soldiers have had on the U.S.-Bulgarian military police relationship and, more broadly, the garrison's partnership with host nation officials through their daily joint patrols along the post perimeter and off the installation."The joint patrols afford both Bulgarian and American military police units the opportunity to work together, learn from one another, collaborate and better understand the policies and practices of other nations," Sibilla said. "More importantly, they strengthen the capabilities of both parties and highlight the importance of our allied partnership."Sibilla also added that the three augmentee police officers, as well as permanent members of the DES team, have embodied all five pillars of Hodges' model for a strong, ready Europe by throwing young Soldiers into challenging environments, leveraging the strengths of Army Reservists, cultivating stronger national alliances through small collaborative actions, enabling regionally-allocated forces through safe exercises, and contributing to the Army's regional dynamic presence."I don't get to do a lot of these things back home. I've learned how to use Excel, make spreadsheets and be more organized. Just today, I learned how to do a fingerprint kit," said Staff Sgt. Joe Tolentino, adding, "I'm so glad they chose me to come here. Working with the leaders here has been amazing."Spec. Patrick Williams from USAG Ansbach, another augmentee, brought over eight years of military police experience to the DES team. Williams, who also said the experience was an enriching one, was asked to fill out the remainder of his overseas tour as the installation's lead desk sergeant."Staff Sgt. Ervin Garcia-Guzman and I will be leaving soon," Lopez said. "I think it's important to have Soldiers here who can mentor the next guys and provide critical continuity."As NSTA and its sister site Camp Mihail Kogalniceanu in Romania continue to grow in size and emerge as the Army's Black Sea "home and headquarters" for rotational forces and regional exercises, Sibilla said, it's important that processes are streamlined and all command components invest in strong partnerships."Our relationship with the Black Sea Area Support Team and our Bulgarian hosts is stronger than ever," she said. "We wouldn't be able to do all things we do here without them. As a group, we take the condition 'Spartan plus Wi-Fi' to another level. Together, we've been able to make NSTA a top-notch, quality installation with excellent equipment and facilities and a high level of customer service and support to our customers, the warfighters."