Senior military officials from U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and Bulgaria's Deputy Chief of Defense conducted the 21st U.S.-Bulgaria Joint Commission on Nov. 25 to discuss the Defense Cooperation Agreement implementation, as well as bilateral training and exercises in 2021.
Bulgaria's Deputy Chief of Defense, Air Force Lt. Gen. Tsanko Stoykov and USEUCOM's Deputy Director of Partnering, Security Cooperation and Missile Defense, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jessica Meyeraan, co-chaired the virtual strategic forum.
Within the legal framework of the U.S.-Bulgaria Defense Cooperation Agreement and Implementing Agreements, the two senior military officials led discussions covering a full spectrum of issues ranging from military operations, exercises and logistics to environmental, legal and taxation issues.
"Despite these trying times, as we all continue to fight our way through this global pandemic, it is reassuring to see the importance that both of our countries place on our enduring relationship," Meyeraan said. "We appreciate Bulgaria's contributions to NATO operations, activities and missions such as Resolute Support."
Given the ongoing global pandemic and the respective countries' adherence to health protection measures, Stoykov and his team joined the virtual meeting from Bulgaria's Ministry of Defense in the nation's capital city of Sofia, while Meyeraan and her USEUCOM team joined from America's four-star combatant command headquarters in Stuttgart.
Referring to the 10-year Defense Cooperation Roadmap signed in a Pentagon ceremony on Oct. 6 with Bulgaria's Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov and then-U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the senior leaders noted that the road map will serve as a guide to further strengthen the alliance between the two nations over the next ten years, as it begins a new chapter
in robust military cooperation.
The last U.S.-Bulgaria Joint Commission was held in November 2019 in Sofia.
"2020 was a great year for America's bilateral relationship with Bulgaria and we are convinced that 2021 - a year of focus on the Black Sea Region - will be even greater," Meyeraan concluded.
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for U.S. military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. USEUCOM is comprised of more than 64,000 military and civilian personnel and works closely with NATO Allies and partners. The command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. For more information about USEUCOM, visit https://www.eucom.mil.