NOVO SELO TRAINING AREA, Bulgaria — U.S. sailors and Marines partnered with Bulgarian army soldiers July 7 for a live-fire exercise at Novo Selo Training Area.
The Bulgarians were from the 38th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Light Infantry Brigade while the Americans were part of scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion.
The exercise was part of the final peacekeeping operation of the Black Sea Rotational Force 2010 deployment.
During the shoot, the Bulgarians had the opportunity to fire M2 .50-caliber heavy machine guns, and the Marines familiarized themselves with the Rocket-Propelled Grenade-7.
Marine Cpl. Arnol Albarenga, a motor transportation operator with Headquarters and Service Co., 1st Tank Bn., fired the RPG-7 and said it was just another great memory he will take away from the deployment.
“It’s been something new, a different experience and another opportunity to do new things in my career,” said Albarenga, a native of Dallas, Texas. “When I fired [the RPG], it was an awesome feeling.”
The Marines and sailors have spent the past three months training with nations throughout the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions as part of the first Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force to deploy to the area with the mission of promoting regional stability, building enduring partnerships with partner nations and enhancing partner nations’ military capabilities.
Some of the battalion’s Marines will head to Ukraine next week to take part in Exercise Sea Breeze, while others will begin returning to their families and friends aboard Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.