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U.S. Marines with Bravo Company, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, rush to the first building while the Bulgarian T-72 tank to provides cover for the assault on Military Operations on Urban Terrain Town during Platinum Lion 16-3 at the Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, May 10, 2016. Hundreds of troops from five NATO countries came together to train with mechanized assets and demonstrate the ability to work seamlessly as one force.

Photo by Cpl. Immanuel Johnson

Five NATO allies, one fight

18 May 2016 | 2nd Lt. Kathleen OBrien The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Hundreds of troops from five different NATO nations came together May 9-13, 2016 and operating as a single Allied force at the Novo Selo Training Area in Bulgaria.

The exercise is known as Platinum Lion and involves service members from Bulgaria, Romania, the United Kingdom, France and the United States. The allies trained side-by-side using tanks, artillery and aircraft to rapidly respond to a crisis scenario set in Europe.

“It was great to see all the nations participate together and have Marines learn tactics from partner NATO Allies,” said Capt. Kirk Steinhorst, combined arms company commander, Black Sea Rotational Force.

Altogether, the nations had more than 30 mechanized vehicles participating in the exercise. MV-22 Ospreys—the Marine Corps’ expeditionary assault support, raid operations, cargo lift and special warfare aircraft—flew from Morón, Spain to demonstrate NATO’s ability to rapidly respond to any mission, no matter the distance.

“The more exercises we can participate in together, the more it strengthens that partnership,” said Steinhorst. “We can count on each other when we receive that call to defend each other.”

Platinum Lion is an annually-scheduled exercise where Marines and sailors from Black Sea Rotational Force and the Combined Arms Company train with partner nations to promote regional stability through combined arms in Eastern Europe.

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