NOVO SELO TRAINING AREA, Bulgaria – -- Nearly 200 U.S. Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 13 joined soldiers from Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, today at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, to mark the official start of Exercise Platinum Lion 13.
Platinum Lion, which will run through all of July, marks the first time a force will operate out of the new administrative and support facilities constructed in Novo Selo, which were completed in December 2012. The exercise allows the U.S. military forces and the soldiers from the Bulgarian 3rd Mechanized Infantry, Serbian 21st Infantry Battalion, and Romanian 20th Infantry Battalion, to practice stability, counterinsurgency, and peacekeeping operations in order to build partner nation capacity, enhance interoperability between countries and increase the overall effectiveness of the participating partnered nations.
During Platinum Lion, Company G Marines will work with Weapons Company Marines and various BSRF-13 attachments to demonstrate U.S. Marine Corps tactics, techniques and procedures. The demonstrations will include partnered and integrated convoy escort operations, sniper live-fire exercises, combat lifesaving classes, combat marksmanship live-fire exercises, and squad and platoon live-fire exercises. An additional focus of the exercise will be strengthening existing regional partnerships and encouraging the establishment of new relationships through the exchange of mission-focused knowledge and expertise so each participating country will improve capabilities to operate independently. The BSRF is a Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force with crisis response capabilities deployed to the region to enhance interoperability, promote regional stability and build camaraderie amongst the forces. This is the fourth consecutive year BSRF visits the region and maintains a primary presence in Mihail Kogalniceanu Military Base, Romania.