Modeling and simulation experts from the Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) deployed to Bulgaria to support this year’s Balkan Bridges exercise (BB19). On 3 October, Major General Adam Joks, JFTC Commander, joined his staff in Sofia to explore the exercise with special focus on testing and experimentation area augmented by JFTC.

Balkan Bridges is an exercise designed to improve and enhance interoperability of Balkan States and to promote security and stability in the region. JFTC has supported these exercises since 2015.

This year, the Centre’s team provides technical mentorship and Subject Matter Experts’ (SME) support to Nations and regional partners participating in BB19. JFTC experts are assisting nine Balkan Capitals (6 NATO countries - Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Turkey, and 3 Partnership for Peace countries - Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbia) in conducting the exercise by applying NATO practices and procedures. Great emphasis is placed on NATO technology and cross-coordination between the Alliance and nations. During BB19, JFTC is the leader in providing experiments and tests according to NATO standards.

“The Joint Force Training Centre, known as the NATO’s state-of-the-art platform for experimentation and innovation, brought here, into this complex training environment, NATO procedures and simulation expertise. We have also delivered sophisticated NATO tools that help Balkan states train together” – said General Joks during the BB19 visitors’ day.

In addition, JFTC uses BB19 as a venue for integrating tests and experimentation into the training. This is the first time when JFTC has integrated experiments into an exercise. BB19 is a testbed for NATO topics, such as technical support of distributed exercises and NATO tests, and experimentation practices.