NOVO SELO TRAINING AREA, Bulgaria -- U.S. Marines with the Combined Arms Company, Black Sea Rotational Force
completed two weeks of mechanized integration training alongside Bulgarian and
Romanian forces during exercise Platinum Lion at Novo Selo Training Area,
Bulgaria, Oct. 26 – Nov. 6, 2015.
The NATO-led exercise marks the first
multinational live-fire engagement in which the Combined Arms Company
participated with mechanized and artillery assets.
exercise, the Marines and allied service members conducted multiple mechanized
maneuvers with U.S. M1A1 Abrams tanks and BMP-1s, mechanized-infantry
integration and conducted combat life savers classes and non-lethal weapons
The Bulgarian and Romanian forces also observed and operated
the Combined Arms Company’s M-777 Howitzer during a live fire exercise. U.S.
Marines were afforded the opportunity to operate the BMP-1s, as well as shoot
their 120 mm Mortars leading up to the final exercise.
“The time spent
training with the Bulgarians was very rewarding,” said Cpl. Patrick Taylor, a
field artillery cannoneer with the Combined Arms Company. “We learned about
their 120mm Mortars; they got a chance to fire our M-777s during a live fire
exercise. This exercise was a valuable learning experience and I look forward to
training with them in the future.”
The two-week exercise started with
small group exercises working on tactical movements, clearing rooms and live
fire drills. All leading up to a full scale tactical movement towards an
objective utilizing M1A1 Abrams tanks, M-777 howitzers, Bulgarian BMP-1s and
“During the last two weeks, you’ve worked together, you’ve
increased your personal and collective skills and you have increased the
interoperability of your units,” said Col. Yavor Mateev, Commander of Bulgarian
Joint Training Facilities. “The demonstration that was given today was proof for
Platinum Lion is an annually-scheduled series of
exercises designed to increase readiness and build partner capacity through
realistic combat scenarios and objective-focused training.