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Home : News : State Partnership Program
NEWS | May 14, 2024

Tennessee National Guard Soldiers Join Multinational Exercise

By Lt. Col. Darrin Haas, Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

NOVO SELO, Bulgaria – Tennessee National Guard Soldiers from the 117th Military Police Battalion and 269th Military Police Company joined more than 140 military police from five allied nations May 14 for the opening ceremony of the multinational training exercise Beyond Horizon 2024.

During the nine-day exercise, nearly 20 Tennessee Guardsmen will partner with military police from Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, North Macedonia and Romania to improve combat skills and ensure they meet NATO standards for interoperability. They will train on military operations on urban terrain, critical site security, detainee operations, medical evacuations and responding to improvised explosive devices.

“For the first five days, each nation will have the opportunity to work together and train at the squad and platoon level,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Dye, commander of the 117th Military Police Battalion. “We have some great instructors from the 269th Military Police Company here to teach many of the classes and training events.”

After perfecting military police tasks for five days, participating nations will conduct a joint, three-day culminating exercise.

“The major exercise is where we really get to bond as partners and learn the nuances of how each country’s military operates,” said Dye. “During that time, we will be responding to realistic scenarios like protesters, terrorist attacks, detainee escapes and medical emergencies, just to name a few. These events will test how we react, and then we will adjust and make corrections to streamline our response, therefore making us faster, more efficient and safer.”

The Tennessee National Guard has worked with the Bulgarian military for over 30 years. In 1993, Tennessee and Bulgaria became one of the first partners in the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program. The program now includes more than 100 nations and the National Guard in every state, territory and the District of Columbia.

“These events are great opportunities to train with our international partners, who we often deploy and work with overseas,” said Dye. “Our relationship with Bulgaria is solid as we continue to learn the same tactics, techniques, streamline communications, and build relationships so we are more effective together as allies.”