Black Sea Rotational Force Works with Romanian, Armenian and Bulgarian Forces


05/06/2014: Marines assigned to Black Sea Rotational Force 14.2 from Weapon’s Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment familiarize Romanian, Armenian and Bulgarian Militaries with BSRF-14’s crew served and personal weapon systems, 29 April 2014 aboard Babadag, Training Area, Romania.

BSRF has deployed to a number of states for exercises and training, including: Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, Republic of Georgia, Finland and Israel.

 Credit: BSRF:4/28/14

According to Wikipedia:

The Black Sea Rotational Force is a yearly program where United States Marine Corps units based in the continental United States perform rotational deployments to U.S. military bases in the Black Sea region.

The force participates in security cooperation to build military capacity, provide regional stability, and develop lasting partnerships with nations in the region.

It is an outgrowth of the previous Joint Task Force East, which was planned to be a rotational brigade-sized Army force.

In an interview with Brigadier General O’Meara, commander, U.S. Marine  Forces Europe, and deputy commander, U.S. Marine Forces Africa about the newly formed Special Purpose or SP MAGTF, the General discussed BSRF:

SLD: A key aspect of operating in Africa is of course shaping regional situational awareness and partnering skills.  Could you talk to that important aspect of the force?

B.G. O’Meara: Indeed, this is an important part of the mission.  With this template, we can send small training missions throughout the AOR with a small logistical footprint.  The teams will visit for from 7-30 days to work with partner nations, as we are currently doing to prepare some African forces to work in Mali.

There are actually three SP-MAGTFs in the region.  For example, there is the Black Sea Rotational Force. Again, it’s a MAGTF, with a battalion-sized company. And they’re up in the Romanian area.

The Marines are clearly expanding the kind of partnership skills necessary for a highly mobile SP-MAGTF to be effective in coalition operations. We understand the region more than I think people assume we do. We understand the eastern part of Europe and now we’re bringing the force south.

The flexibility of the force is important.  It’s an AFRICOM requested force in the case of the latest SP-MAGTF, but I think we have the flexibility, if we have to, to support EUCOM if needed it for whatever event pops up. It’s, it’s well-positioned forward.

And it provides a template, which is scalable.

It is a MAGTF and as such we can add key elements to bolster capability and over time the F-35B will be added to the mix, which certainly enhances the performance of this force template.