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Jun 13 2024

Exercise Ramstein Legacy in Bulgaria, units demonstrate integration during live-firing

SHABLA, Bulgaria – During a Distinguished Visitors’ Day on June 12, units participating in NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence exercise Ramstein Legacy demonstrated their live-firing skills simulating command and control and engagement procedures aimed at protecting NATO territory, population and military units.

Exercise Ramstein Legacy 24 is conducted in Bulgaria and Romania. The execution phase of training drills involving Surface-Based Air and Missile Defence (SBAMD) units from participating nations occurs from June 10 to 14. In Bulgaria, participating tactical SBAMD units from Bulgaria, Italy and Slovenia operate simultaneously together from three different separated locations at high levels of coordination provided in an entirely protected classified information communication environment. Permanent and deployed command and control centers are also used during the exercise .

Practicing NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence, integrating our national communication systems in a joint communication and information environment, enables us to work together

“On June 12, the participants conducted a live-firing demonstration at the Shabla Air Defence Firing Range under exercise Ramstein Legacy 2024 practicing air defence of the country on a national and joint scale. Multinational assets deployed in Bulgaria are connected with forces deployed in Southeastern Europe, specifically in Romania. We are working on tasks related to the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence integrating our national communication systems in the joint communication and information environment, enabling us to work together”, said Admiral Emil Eftimov, Chief of Defence of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, thanking participants and the Bulgarian Air Force Command for their hard work.

During the live-firing demonstration under NATO's Integrated Air and Missile Defence exercise Ramstein Legacy at Shabla Range, Bulgarian helicopters and fighter aircraft simulated an air threat to NATO territory, and Surface-Based Air Defence forces from Bulgaria, Italy and Slovenia, coordinated by an Allied Air Air Defence Operations Centre, teamed up to counter these attacks demonstrating close integration and cooperation to defend Allied territory, populations and infrastructure. Photos courtesy Bulgarian Air Force.
Bulgarian units involved several SBAMD systems that were training alongside the Italian and Slovenian units simulating defence against Allied fighter jets from Bulgaria, Greece, Finland, Romanian and the United Kingdom. The Bulgarian Air Force and Army SBAMD units (SA- 6 GAINFUL, SA-8 GECKO, SA-7 GRAIL, SA-17 GREMLIN) trained in a joint environment with the Allied units. Aircraft from the Bulgarian and Greek Air Forces are simulating the air threat from opposing forces in the exercise.

The Italian Army participated in the exercise with a Stinger battery, which is part of the Italian Battle Group located in Bulgaria. They performed short-range air defence tasks together with Bulgarian units. Slovenian SA-24 short-range air defence systems provided joint air defence for critical infrastructure and the deployed Bulgarian SA-5 unit.

“Slovenian Air Defence officers were also positioned in Group Operations Centre 1, the Surface-Based Air Defence Operations Centre and the Control and Reporting Centre in Sofia, where they were practiced common NATO Tactics, Techniques and Procedures,” said Lieutenant Colonel Metod Žura, senior Slovenian Officer in Ramstein Legacy. “The multinational exercise is a great opportunity to hone our skills and enhance our interoperability with our NATO Allies.

A second live-firing session during Ramstein Legacy 24 is scheduled to take place at Capu Midia in Romania an June 14, which also bring the 2024 edition of the Integrated Air and Missile Defence exercise to an end.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on input provided by the Bulgarian Air Force

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