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Tennessee Guard, Bulgarian Medical Military Academy Collaborate

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Darrell Hamm and Lt. Col. Marlin Malone,
  • Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

SOFIA, Bulgaria – The Tennessee Army and Air National Guard collaborated with the Bulgarian Military Medical Academy June 12-19 in a series of events as part of Thracian Sentry 23.

The two medical teams toured the Military Medical Academy, where the nation provides medical care and training to the Bulgarian Military and health care to civilians. The two teams also organized for a future mass casualty exercise, prepared for a medical military airlift scenario, conducted virtual reality training, and helped certify Bulgaria’s first combat paramedics.

The U.S. and Bulgarian teams collaborated on treatment approaches and best practices in critical care scenarios with simulated patients.

In a landmark event, Bulgarian medical staff received their first certification for combat paramedics. This new duty position in the Bulgarian military required changes in their medical laws. 

“I was honored to be asked to serve on the certification board for their new combat paramedics,” said Tennessee National Guard Col. Keith Evans.

Tennesseans also worked to integrate their services into the Bulgarian first-line medical care referred to as “Role One” facilities. The two teams practiced scenarios to provide seamless medical care.

“Whenever NATO countries are involved in a medical crisis, it’s beneficial to have already worked together under a common standard,” said Maj. Lyubomir Angelov, international health specialist from the office of the command surgeon for U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

Thracian Sentry 2023 highlights the 30-year partnership between the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense and the Tennessee National Guard in the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program, which has 88 partnerships in 100 nations. 

The exercise also enabled Tennesseans to improve their readiness alongside their Bulgarian counterparts and to train combat-ready Soldiers and Airmen.