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US, Bulgaria Mark 20th Anniversary of Security Assistance Programs.

The US Embassy's Office of Defense Cooperation marked the 20th anniversary of its Security Assistance Programs in Bulgaria on Monday.

The event was marked with a reception hosted by the Charge d'affaires, Bryan Dalton on August 27, 2012 at the US Embassy in Sofia.

Bulgaria's Minister of Defense Anyu Angelov and nearly 300 Bulgarians, many of whom are graduates of the various training programs, provided as part of the security assistance attended the reception to mark the anniversary, the Embassy informs in a press release.

Charge d'affaires Dalton noted that since the inception of Security Assistance in Bulgaria in 1992, the U.S. Government has spent over USD 180 M toward military training, equipment and education under the Combined Education and Training Program (CETP) and the Foreign Military Financing (FMF.)

The US Government has allocated more than $30 million to Bulgaria to train more than 2,000 Bulgarian military officers, Ministry of Defense civilians, and Non-Commissioned Officers in US military schools or in U.S. military training facilities in Europe under the Combined Education and Training Program (CETP) which includes the International Military Education and Training Program (IMET), the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, the Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) as well as FMF and other U.S. funding.

Additionally, since 1996, Bulgaria has received approximately USD 150 M under FMF to assist with the modernization of the Bulgarian Armed Forces through equipment acquisition and training in order to enhance interoperability within NATO and with U.S. Forces.

Defense Minister Anyu Angelov stressed that the US security assistance programs have proven to be an important instrument in support of Bulgaria's efforts to change the image and the structure of the Bulgarian armed forces in the context of a society in transition to democracy.

In recognition of the program's success, Charge d'affaires Dalton welcomed many of the Bulgarian graduates of the Combined Education and Training Program, as well as other defense officials, including Corporal Yordanka Terzieva of the 4th Artillery Regiment in Assenovgrad, an honor graduate of the Warrior Leaders Course held at the US 7th Army NCO Academy in Grafenwoehr, Germany and CPT Stefan Dimov of the 101 Alpine Battalion with the 68 Brigade in Smolyan, an honor graduate of the Civil Affairs course held at the U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Center at Ft. Bragg, NC
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Publication:Sofia News Agency
Geographic Code:4EXBU
Date:Aug 28, 2012
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