Press Release - Statement regarding incident in Cheshnegirovo

June 1, 2021

WIESBADEN, Germany —

On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria learned of an incident that occurred during a military training exercise in Cheshnegirovo.

As part of Exercise Swift Response 21, between May 10-14, U.S. soldiers assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade conducted a training exercise to simulate seizing and securing the Cheshnegirovo decommissioned airfield in Bulgaria.

During the course of this exercise, soldiers simulated entering and clearing multiple bunkers and structures across the airfield. On May 11, soldiers entered and cleared a building next to the airfield that they believed was part of the training area, but that was occupied by Bulgarian civilians operating a private business. No weapons were fired at any time during this interaction.

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

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

We will implement rigorous procedures to clearly define our training areas and prevent this type of incident in the future.