Bulgaria - Navy

The Navy guarantees the sovereignty and defends the interests of the Republic of Bulgaria in its sea space, and in combination with the other services of the Armed Forces ensures the security and territorial integrity of the country. 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. Outside national territory it partakes in collective defence actions with a specified force – anti-terrorist operations, patrolling of sea regions, embargo operations, escorting exceptionally valuable ships and cargos, and mine-clearing operations. The Navy executes constant surveillance and reporting on sea space conditions, control of naval navigation, and defence of naval communications and the economy at sea.

The Navy maintains a state of constant readiness, leads the preparations and 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 contribute to the defence of key strategic sites and sea infrastructure; to fight organised crime and human , drugs and weapons trafficking; to participate in the search & rescue of people at sea and in humanitarian and evacuation operations. The Navy maintains capabilities for planning and participation in independent and joint operations.

Functionally, the Navy is divided into Deployment Forces and Territorial Forces:

  • Deployment forces - formations with a high and low degree of readiness, capable of conducting the whole spectrum of NATO missions on the territory of the Alliance or outside it in the sense of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, or in response to crises of a military or non-military nature. The Deployment Forces of the Navy are fully manned and equipped with the necessary arms and equipment.
  • Territorial Forces – formations with a high and low degree of readiness capable of fulfilling operations related to the protection of the territorial integrity (independently and/or in the system of collective security and defence), the maritime sovereignty of the country with integrated systems in NATO’s shared system that guarantee contribution to the national security in peacetime and counteraction against potential asymmetric threats.
Organizationally, the Navy consists of: Navy Training and Preparation Headquarters; two military naval bases – Varna and Bourgas, and units for combat support and combat provision. In recent years, the Navy has changed structurally in accordance with the modern standards and the necessity of its integration with the European and Euro-Atlantic security structures. The Navy day is the second Sunday of August, which is as well the last day of the traditional National Week of the Sea.

  • Naval Command
  • A Helicopters Naval Base
  • Spec. Recon. Squad
  • Naval Electronic Warfare and Recon. Squad
  • Maritime Intelligence Squad
  • A Military Police company.
  • Combat Support Units
  • Support formations
  • Maritime CIS support system
  • Hydrographical Survey Service
  • Naval Operational Centre
  • Technological property storage facilities;
  • A military band;
  • Naval Base consisting of: Base personnel; two base stations for vessel squads and equipment; a repairs station and a warehouse for weapons and equipment; ship squadrons; coastal missile and artillery squadron and CIS units.

The Navy’s structure by 2010 was comprised of a headquarters, two naval bases (Varna and Burgas) and the headquarters’ support units. The future organisational structure of the Navy by 2014 would include a commander and headquarters, one naval base with two stations (Varna and Burgas), for basing and formations, directly subordinate to the commander.

The HQ element of the naval component plans and carries out control of forces in naval navigation-control operations, the defence of sea territory and the state’s coast, the protection of naval communications and sea economy, the patrolling and escorting at sea, humanitarian, evacuation, rescue and mine-clearing operations, protection of strategic sites and critical maritime infrastructure, and operations to protect population affected by natural disasters. The HQ of the naval component, depending on the joint operation’s nature (e.g. when the main operation zone is not at sea) should be able to function as a remote control post, by presenting naval use-of-force options to the commander of the joint operation. It consequently participates in their control.

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