Bulgarian Military Leadership welcomes NATO Maritime Commander to Sofia
SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgarian Chief of Defense, Vice Admiral Emil Eftimov and Bulgarian Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Mitko Petev met with Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone CB CBE UKRN, Commander of NATO's Allied Maritime Command, at the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense Feb. 1.
The leaders discussed Bulgaria's many contributions to regional security in the Black Sea, options for enhancement of Maritime Situational Awareness and possible future contributions of the Bulgarian Navy to Allied operations with an emphasis on maintaining regional stability and avoiding escalation of tensions.
"The Bulgarian Navy is a fantastic supporter of the Standing Naval Groups," said Johnstone at a media availability at the Ministry of Defense, "providing ships and staff members with expertise right across the fields we need."
The Bulgarian Navy's inventory include frigates, corvettes and mine countermeasures vessels, several of which have played active roles in the Standing NATO Maritime Groups and other NATO operations including Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean.
The NATO Standing groups regularly participate in national exercises of Allied nations bordering the Black Sea and train with Allied naval ships under national operational control to increase interoperability and the ability to work together should NATO be called on to defend the sovereignty of any Allied nation.
NATO Maritime Command leads NATO operations at sea and serves as NATO's adviser and subject matter expert on maritime operational issues. The headquarters for NATO Maritime Command is located just north of London in the United Kingdom.