Here at Combined Endeavor 09, we have participating organizations in addition to country participants. One of the organizations -- NATO -- is familiar to many people. SEEBRIG, however, is not as well known, so I want to take a few minutes to tell you about it.
The South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) consists of seven NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations: Albania, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Romania, and Turkey. Believing that cooperation and dialog among the countries of South-Eastern Europe must be further developed, and considering their commitment to contribute to regional security and stability, their Ministers of Defense signed an Agreement on Multinational Peace Force South-Eastern Europe (MPFSEE) September 26, 1998.
In accordance with the agreement, the South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) was established and activated August 31, 1999. Our purpose is to promote regional stability and security, to foster political and military trust, and to develop military cooperation among the countries in South-Eastern Europe. We also aid in crisis solving by participating in peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance operations. We are proud to be a part of the European effort to ensure peace and security on this continent.
Instead of using names for the countries, a numbering system -- based on alphabetical order of the member nations -- was put into place to avoid disputes among the parties. The image below shows the flags in numbered order, 1 through 7.
SEEBRIG Headquarters is currently located in Istanbul, Nation 7. Previous locations have been Plovdiv, Nation 2, from 1999-2003, and Constanta, Nation 6, from 2003-2007. In 2011 it will be deployed to Larissa, Nation 3.
With the SEEBRIG 10-year anniversary coming up August 31, 2009, we are proud of a decade of accomplishments:
- We established a multinational headquarters with officers and NCOs from NATO and PfP countries, who follow NATO standards and procedures.
- We successfully relocated the headquarters, first from Nation 2 to Nation 6 and then from Nation 6 to Nation 7.
- In 2004, we completed the NATO evaluation process and we were certified as ready with limitations.
- Between 06 February and 06 August 2006, SEEBRIG HQ was deployed as Kabul Multinational Brigade HQ, under ISAF Command, accomplishing the first SEEBRIG mission.
- In 1999, we conducted the first SEEBRIG Command Post Exercise (CPX): SEEBRIG-99.
- In 2000, the Command Field Exercise (CFX) SEVENSTARS-00 was developed.
- In 2001, we performed our first Computer Assisted Exercise, CAX-01, our first engineer exercise, CORNERSTONE-01, and CPX SEVENSTARS-01.
- In 2002, we conducted CPX SEVENSTARS-02, an engineer exercise called CORNERSTONE-02, and an exercise for the staff STAFFEX-02. We participated in a simulation and computer assisted exercise, SEESIM-02 and in other 3 exercises: SOUTHERN STAR-02, ONGUARD in Nation 7, COOPERATIVE ADVENTURE EXCHANGE-02 in Ukraine.
- In 2003, we developed an exercise for the engineer force, CORNERSTONE-03 and headquarters exercise STAFFEX-03; we participated in other 2 exercises: COMBINED ENDEAVOR-03 and VIKING-03 .
- In 2004, we conducted 1 exercise, Full Operational Capability (FOC) CFX “SEVEN STARS-04” and participated in 5 exercises: ADRIATIC PHIBLEX-04, COMBINED ENDEAVOR-04, ALLIED ACTION-04, EURASIAN STAR-04 and SEESIM 04.
- In 2005, we conducted CPX SEVEN STARS-05 and STAFFEX -05. We also participated in COMBINED ENDEAVOR-05, PHOENIX ENDEAVOR-05 and CETATEA-05.
- In 2006, we participated in one exercise: CAX SEESIM-06.
- In 2007, we conducted STAFFEX-07 and CPX SEVEN STARS-07 and participated in 2 exercises: COMBINED ENDEAVOR 2007 and EURASIAN STAR-07
- In 2008, we conducted Command Post Exercise SEVEN STARS-08 in Istanbul and participated in 3 exercises: COMBINED ENDEAVOR 2008, BLONDE AVALANCHE 08 and SEESIM 08.
The success of the SEEBRIG multinational headquarters is aided by an atmosphere of understanding and cooperation among the officers and NCOs. The formal relationships comply with military regulations, which are strictly followed by the SEEBRIG personnel. The development of informal relationships among the headquarters members is always a priority of the brigade command; these relationships can be improved in many ways. We encourage staff activities during “spare time”, and have an entertainment program which includes “social trips” and “informal trips” with the purpose of bringing the staff families together and to create the best friendly relationships.
Major Lachezar "Lucky" Petrov
SEEBRIG Delegation Chief