An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Oct. 4, 2023

Tennessee Guard, Bulgaria Celebrate 30-Year Partnership

By Capt. Kealy Moriarty, Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

SOFIA, Bulgaria - To mark three decades of cooperation as one of the original partners in the State Partnership Program, the Tennessee National Guard and the Bulgarian Armed Forces held more than 30 bilateral engagements throughout the year culminating in a two-day conference and celebration in Sofia Sept. 28-29.

The conference served as a tribute to past achievements and an opportunity to plan future military cooperation projects and exercises.

“As one of the initial 13 teams to join the State Partnership Program in 1993, I am proud to say that over the past 30 years, we have formed a bond that goes beyond borders,” said Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, Tennessee’s adjutant general. “We have learned from one another and cultivated a mutually beneficial relationship founded on trust with a shared goal of global peace and security.”

Since becoming partners, Tennessee and Bulgaria have collaborated on over 600 bilateral training exercises and cultural engagements through the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau program. 

“As we look towards the future of our partnership, we will continue to prioritize modernization, upgrade equipment, boost readiness, and enhancing mobility,” said Ross. “We will continue to foster cultural exchanges, deepen personal relationships, and create long-lasting friendships between our nations. “

The Tennessee delegation visiting Bulgaria included the state command team and leaders of all five of the Army National Guard’s major subordinate commands: Chattanooga’s 230th Sustainment Brigade, Jackson’s 194th Engineer Brigade, Knoxville’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Smyrna’s 117th Regional Training Institute, Tullahoma’s 30th Troop Command, and the three Air National Guard Wings: the 118th Wing in Nashville, the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis and the 134th Air Refueling Wing in Knoxville.

On Sept. 28, each leadership team partnered with their Bulgarian counterparts at the Rakovski National Defense College to discuss how they can continue contributing to and advancing the partnership and improve each nation’s capabilities.

“We discussed potential options for comprehensive optimization of planning based on the priorities in terms of preparation, which arise from the process of modernization of the defense system of the Republic of Bulgaria,” said Lt. Gen. Tsanko Stoykov, Bulgaria’s deputy chief of defense.

At the conference, working groups discussed integrated base defense, joint operations, combined aircraft operations, women’s peace and security, medical academics, emergency response, and enlisted and officer professional development.

“Bilateral cooperation in the field of training and exercises is a key factor in building capabilities, combat readiness and interoperability,” said Stoykov.

The Bulgarian delegation also hosted a 30th-anniversary celebration dinner in the courtyard of the Lozenets Residence in downtown Sofia. The celebration featured traditional Bulgarian cuisine, cultural exchanges, presentations and a performance by the Representative Ensemble of the Bulgarian Armed Forces.

In addition to the Tennessee delegation, notable attendees at the dinner included Andrea Brouillette-Rodriguez, the U.S. deputy chief of mission, and Todor Tagrev, Bulgaria’s defense minister.

On behalf of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Ross presented a state proclamation celebrating July 14 as the 30th anniversary of the partnership between the Republic of Bulgaria Armed Forces and the Tennessee National Guard.
 

 

 

Related Articles
Members of  the Tennessee National Guard’s Women, Peace and Security delegation pose with Col. Nevyana Miteva and the Bulgarian delegation at the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense in Sofia June 22, 2023. Tennessee and Bulgaria are partners in the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program.
Tennessee National Guard Partners with Bulgarian Military
By Tech. Sgt. Darrell Hamm and Lt. Col. Marlin Malone, | July 6, 2023
SOFIA, Bulgaria – The Tennessee Army and Air National Guard collaborated with their Bulgarian Military partners for Women, Peace and Security meetings June 19-23. The event was part of Thracian Sentry 23, a multinational...

Airmen from the 134th Air Refueling Wing out of Knoxville, Tennessee, recently trained with Bulgarian firefighters at Bezmer Air Base, Bulgaria. The training centered on emergency response tactics to various aircraft and the overall flight line.
Tennessee Airmen Train with Bulgarian Air Force Partners
By Staff Sgt. Brandon Keys, | June 23, 2023
BEZMER AIR BASE, Bulgaria - Airmen from the 134th Air Refueling Wing out of Knoxville, Tennessee, recently trained with Bulgarian firefighters on emergency response tactics at Bezmer Air Base, Bulgaria.The Tennessee Air...

Members of the Tennessee National Guard training team at Bulgaria’s Military Medical Academy during Thracian Sentry 23 on June 13, 2023, in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Tennessee Guard, Bulgarian Medical Military Academy Collaborate
By Tech. Sgt. Darrell Hamm and Lt. Col. Marlin Malone, | June 20, 2023
SOFIA, Bulgaria – The Tennessee Army and Air National Guard collaborated with the Bulgarian Military Medical Academy June 12-19 in a series of events as part of Thracian Sentry 23.The two medical teams toured the Military...