Bulgaria - Air Force
Bulgarski Voennovazdyshni Sily, BVVS

Within the framework of the National Security Strategy, the Air Force fulfills the following functions: restraining, defensive, peace and security keeping, humanitarian, rescue, integration and social ones. The primary mission of the Air Force is to guarantee the air sovereignty and security of the country, and jointly with the other services, to protect its territorial integrity. The Air Force accomplishes this mission in the system of collective security and defence by building capabilities for participation in fulfilling the basic missions and tasks of the Bulgarian Army:

  • “Defense” (under Article 5 of Washington Treaty), includes defence of the country in the system of collective defence, and participation of the military airborne component in collective defence activities outside the territory of the country;
  • “Support for the international peace and security” (non-Article 5 of the Washington Treaty), includes participation (with expeditionary forces) in international crises response operations outside the territory of the country; participation in international peace and security enforcement operations; participation in international military cooperation and in international or bilateral formations; participation in the arms control and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as in international humanitarian operations;
  • “Contribution to the national security in peacetime”, includes: surveillance, control and protection of the air space, and jointly with the other services – protection of the national territory and maritime spaces;
  • air defence of strategic sites on the territory of the country;
  • participation in the struggle against terrorism, organized crime and human trafficking, as well as trafficking of arms and drugs;
  • participation in search-and-rescue operations;
  • support and protection of the population at times of natural disasters, industrial breakdowns, and catastrophes;
  • contribution to the activities of other state bodies and agencies;
  • preparation of the infrastructure for crisis response and support of military airborne contingent as a host country;
  • participation in the preservation of natural environment.
The Air Force guarantees the sovereignty of the Republic of Bulgaria by executing surveillance, protection and defence of its air space, and executing tasks in the defence of key infrastructure and strategic sites on national territory. This is done within the collective security and defence system, by maintaining the capabilities needed to participate in the execution of Armed Forces’ missions and tasks. The Air Force maintains a state of constant readiness, leads the preparations and partakes in the execution of operations. It exercises aerial navigation control and secures the inviolability of the state’s airspace within NATO’s air defence system.

The Air Force executes tasks: to aid the state and local authorities in preparing, supporting and protecting the population, the rural economy and national territory, to respond to non-military crises and to overcome related consequences; to assist other ministries and fire fighting agencies; and to carry out air surveillance and air transport of personnel and cargo. The Air Force maintains capabilities for planning and participation in independent and joint operations.

The Organisational structure of the Air Force comprises of:

  • Air Force Command
  • Two air bases
  • A forward operations base
  • An air defence base
  • A Command, Control and Surveillance Base
  • A Specialised Equipment Base
  • A Centre for Documentary Support
  • A Military Police company

The HQ element of the Air Force component maintains constantly operational capabilities for the carrying out of aeronautical tasks. It plans and controls air strike missions, territorial and zone air defence, airborne reconnaissance, close air support and zone isolation. It participates in combat and non-combat search & rescue, electronic warfare and intelligence (EWI), early warning and tactical transport in the zone of operation. The main Air Force control post in peacetime and during crises is the Aviation Operations Centre (AOC) with the ASOC/ASBE. For control of the Air Force component in operations a command & control system is set up. It is incorporated in and uses the peacetime system and other additionally set-up centres.

After the 2010 force structure review, the Air Force would be organised to include: a commander and headquarters; two air force bases (Graf Ignatievo and Krumovo); a forward operations base; an air defence base; a command, control and surveillance base; a specialised equipment base; and a military police company.

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