Bulgarian Special Operations

68th Special Forces Brigade

The 68th Special Forces Brigade is located in Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria.

The location of the brigade–situated near the Rodopi Mountains and the Maritsa River–provides opportunities for the combat readiness of the personnel.

The Brigade is the successor to the Parachute Detachment, which participated in WWII and acheived remarkable victories at Stratsin and Strazhin. The Parachute Detachment exactly marked initiated the military parachute diving and was an archetype of the Special Operation Forces in Bulgaria. A number of personnel from the Parachute Detachment established numerous world records in parachuting at that time.

Organization

The 68th Special Forces Brigade has undergone organizational and structural changes and now it is under the command of the Land Forces Headquarters of the Bulgarian Armed Forces.

Today, the 68th Special Forces Brigade is one of the most advanced units of the Land Forces, which executes the whole spectrum of missions for the Special Forces. It is ready to defend the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Training

Brigade officers and NCOs enhance their professional skills and language qualification through the system of everyday training and various post-graduate qualification courses.

More than 80% of the brigade HQ and more than 50% of the officers in the subordinate units have STANAG certificates at least of one of the NATO official languages. Most platoon commanders have successfully completed a 7-month SF course in the town of Lamego, Portugal. The course is led in extremely harsh conditions and usually only 20% of the students complete it.

Soldier combat training is organized in two consecutive phases:

• Three months combat training at the Brigade’s Training Battalion for conscripts and five months for professional soldiers.

• Six months unit and unit SF training at the brigade subordinate units, starting from platoon level up to battalion level for conscripts.

• Currently, the brigade is carrying out three years experimental program divided in phases (per six months annually).

• Additionally, the professional soldiers undergo special qualification courses.

Brigade combat units and detachments participate in various training and field evolutions, supervised at the appropriate brigade command levels.

There are numerous classrooms, parachute, live firing and engineer training areas, PT and obstacle courses that provide for and sustain combat training process of the brigade.

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