Mechanized unit marks initiation in Eastern Europe
By Cpl. Kaitlyn Klein, 10th Marine Regiment
The Combined Arms Company marked initiation with an opening ceremony in Eastern Europe, Sept. 23, 2015. The rotational force marks the first Marine mechanized unit in Eastern Europe.
The Combined Arms Company consisting of approximately 150 Marines is forward-deployed to Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria. The temporary boost to the Black Sea Rotational Force provides an increased capability for exercises by providing armored vehicles and indirect-fire assets, including M1A1 Abrams tanks, artillery cannons and light-armored reconnaissance vehicles.
“I feel honored that the Marine Corps was selected to be the partner, to deepen our already strong relationship with our Bulgarian allies", said Col. James Donnellan the deputy commander for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa. "Over the course of the next five-plus months, and successive rotations, we will continue to deepen that relationship”
While hosted in Bulgaria, Marines can increase the value of ongoing NATO-led exercises by allowing American forces to more easily participate with tanks, infantry vehicles and artillery.
“The defense and territorial integrity of Eastern Europe is principle among U.S. interests,” said Capt. Daniel Whitt, CAC company commander. “We are excited to be here, and eager to employ our armor and artillery assets to enhance multinational exercises. Operating alongside NATO allies’ and partners’ mechanized units will enhance our collective capabilities, in turn promoting regional stability.”
With the presentation of the unit’s colors, the Combined Arms Company instated its presence in Bulgaria, marking an important step in future participation with United States’ allied and partner nations.
“The security and prosperity for tomorrow starts today,” Whitt said, “and the Combined Arms Company is a piece of preserving a safe, secure, and prosperous Europe.”