Moment U.S. paratroopers accidentally invade a Bulgarian FACTORY in training exercise blunder


The moment when U.S. paratroopers accidentally invaded a Bulgarian factory that makes equipment to produce olive oil during a ‘training exercise’ was caught on alarming video footage.

Soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Italy, were conducting training at the decommissioned Cheshnegirovo Air Base when they were seen storming the factory with their weapons drawn while at least one worker was inside.

Bulgarian reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva tweeted out the security camera footage believed to show the incident while noting that the owner of the company – which has not been identified – has filed a lawsuit. Details about the lawsuit and where it was filed were not immediately known. 

The U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria issued a press release on May 28 apologizing to the business and its employees for the mishap. 

Scroll down for video 

A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, drops Air Force and U.S. Army paratroopers onto Cheshnegirovo Airfield in Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21 on May 11, 2021

A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, drops Air Force and U.S. Army paratroopers onto Cheshnegirovo Airfield in Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21 on May 11, 2021

Video shows the paratroopers outside of the building as they ready to enter the factory

Video shows the paratroopers outside of the building as they ready to enter the factory

A factory worker sits on the ground watching as U.S. soldiers storm the factory in Bulgaria

A factory worker sits on the ground watching as U.S. soldiers storm the factory in Bulgaria

Soldiers were seen storming the factory with their weapons drawn while at least one worker was inside

Soldiers were seen storming the factory with their weapons drawn while at least one worker was inside

The team is seen outside of the building around 1.43pm on May 11

The team is seen outside of the building around 1.43pm on May 11

The soldiers, as part of Exercise Swift Response 21, had boarded a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft departing Pápa Air Base, Hungary ‘under cover of darkness’ before dropping into Bulgaria, officials said.

The solider then went from building to building to practice seizing and securing each of them but accidentally believed the factory was a part of the airfield, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria.

The embassy noted that the soldiers never fired their weapons during the botched training exercise.

‘The U.S. Army takes training seriously and prioritizes the safety of our soldiers, our allies, and civilians,’ the statement reads.

‘We sincerely apologize to the business and its employees. We always learn from these exercises and are fully investigating the cause of this mistake.’

The U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria added: ‘We will implement rigorous procedures to clearly define our training areas and prevent this type of incident in the future.’    

Video shared by a Bulgarian reporter appears to show one of the factory workers after the incident

Video shared by a Bulgarian reporter appears to show one of the factory workers after the incident

Video shared by a Bulgarian reporter appears to show one of the factory workers after the incident

Video shared by a Bulgarian reporter appears to show one of the factory workers after the incident

In the U.S. Army, Airborne units often train to conduct airfield seizures in conventional warfare. During the training, soldiers typically parachute into an open field ‘drop zone’ or on the tarmac of an airfield before conducting a simulated mission.

Sometimes those missions may include people acting as civilians but they’re usually identified prior to the training mission.

The training exercises usually include a drop zone safety officer who should have the knowledge of the planned training – which prevents these kind of mishaps. The safety officer would identify which building was used for training and which buildings are off limits.

Video appears to show the outside of the factory where equipment is made to produce olive oil

Video appears to show the outside of the factory where equipment is made to produce olive oil

The video appears to show the camera which took the surveillance footage that captured the troops

The video appears to show the camera which took the surveillance footage that captured the troops

The botched exercise raises questions about why the building was misidentified as a part of the training exercise and could pose challenges in foreign relations.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has slammed the training exercise for ‘breeding tension,’ according to the Bulgarian news website Novinite.

‘It is inadmissible to have the lives of Bulgarian citizens disturbed and put at risk by military formations, whether Bulgarian or belonging to a foreign army,’ Radev said.

‘The exercises with our allies on the territory of Bulgaria should contribute to building security and trust in collective defense, not breed tension.’

A paratrooper drops onto Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21, May 11, 2021

A paratrooper drops onto Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21, May 11, 2021

The exercise included airborne operations in Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania involving more than 7,000 troops from 11 countries

The exercise included airborne operations in Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania involving more than 7,000 troops from 11 countries

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group and U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team secure the airfield after the arrival of additional 435th CRG Airmen during exercise Swift Response 21

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group and U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team secure the airfield after the arrival of additional 435th CRG Airmen during exercise Swift Response 21

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group support personnel and heavy equipment offload from a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during exercise Swift Response 21 at Cheshnegirovo Airfield in Bulgaria

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group support personnel and heavy equipment offload from a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during exercise Swift Response 21 at Cheshnegirovo Airfield in Bulgaria

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sean Gilliland, 435th Contingency Response Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, right, establishes communications during exercise Swift Response 21 at Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, May 11, 2021

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sean Gilliland, 435th Contingency Response Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, right, establishes communications during exercise Swift Response 21 at Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, May 11, 2021

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Paris Bell, 435th CRS airfield manager, secures an initial operating perimeter after joint forcible entry into Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21, May 11, 2021. The 435th Contingency Response Group provides 24/7 alert capabilities through scalable, cross-functional and rapidly deployable forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John R. Wright)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Paris Bell, 435th CRS airfield manager, secures an initial operating perimeter after joint forcible entry into Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21, May 11, 2021. The 435th Contingency Response Group provides 24/7 alert capabilities through scalable, cross-functional and rapidly deployable forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John R. Wright)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacklyn Edgmond, 435th Security Forces Squadron ground combat readiness training center instructor, secures an initial operating perimeter after joint forcible entry into Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21 on May 11

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacklyn Edgmond, 435th Security Forces Squadron ground combat readiness training center instructor, secures an initial operating perimeter after joint forcible entry into Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21 on May 11

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group prepare for night operations during exercise Swift Response 21 at Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria on May 11

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group prepare for night operations during exercise Swift Response 21 at Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria on May 11

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group and U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 173rd Infantry Brigade board a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for joint forcible entry into Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21 at an air base in Hungary

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group and U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 173rd Infantry Brigade board a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for joint forcible entry into Cheshnegirovo Airfield, Bulgaria, during exercise Swift Response 21 at an air base in Hungary

Col. Joe Scrocca, a spokesman for U.S. Army Europe, told Task & Purpose that none of the soldiers have been disciplined while the incident is under investigation. 

Despite the error, Air Force Capt. Andrew Schnell of the 435th Contingency Response Squadron hailed the team for having ‘performed incredibly well’ in a news release on May 20.

‘An airfield assessment supporting a joint forcible entry is a PhD-level assessment, requiring extensive coordination between contingency response forces and the 173rd Airborne Brigade,’ Schnell said. 

‘From planning through execution, the team worked closely with their Army counterparts, ensuring a smooth transition of authority following the seizure. The team performed incredibly well in an extremely complicated environment, and I am proud of every member.’ 

Early reports indicated that the soldiers were a part of a Special Forces team under the command of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

‘The first reports of the incident in Bulgaria were wrong. The Soldiers involved in the incident you are referring to were not Special Operations Forces,’ Ken McGraw, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Special Operations Command told DailyMail.com in a statement.

‘They were from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which is located in Vicenza, Italy. U.S. Special Operations Forces were not involved in this incident.’





Source link

Spread the love

Written by bourbiza

Ian Malouf snaps up record-breaking $60million penthouse on top of Sydney’s ANZ building

Sequoia National Park: A hiker died after falling 500 feet from the summit of Mount Russell