Novo Selo Range is one of the most popular and largest military bases in Bulgaria that are operated by the NATO forces. From all the NATO nations sending troops for training on site, the Americans represent the highest population. The second nation with most troops at the base is obviously Bulgaria. The military facility is located close to the Sliven area, in the eastern side. It is very close to the Black Sea and represents an extremely important strategical map on the US military bases map, especially since the United States of America don’t see the Black Sea as a very secure place. That is because the waters are shared by more countries and only a few of them are among the US allies. At the same time, another mission of the base is to increase the NATO popularity in the area. The closest similar base to this one is Bezmer and is operated by the Air Force. This means the two facilities often conduct common operations when needed. All the similar co-bases are run by the Americans under the strict regulations of the Bulgarian government. The Defense Cooperation Agreement also included the total number of potential American troops that could be hosted on the Bulgarian territories. It was signed in 2006.
The history of Novo Selo Range dates back to 1962. It played a very important role throughout the Cold War. It was located relatively close to the Soviet Union. Its proximity to the Black Sea and the wide variety of operations that could be conducted from it made it even better. These days, the place is probably the best area NATO controls in the eastern side of Europe.
Over the years, the base importance and activities dropped as the time passed by. However, since 2008, the United States of America decided to invest a little in the base, especially since they had a clear agreement with the Bulgarians and the place is a strategical spot for the current invasions around the Middle East. The US government invested so far more than $80M in a wide variety of upgrades and improvements in the infrastructure and technologies used on site. The interesting part is that the process is still ongoing, so more money is about to be sent that direction.
The mission of Novo Selo Range is to provide training sessions for tanks and reconnaissance troops, as well as to host various tests with chemical and biological weapons. The base is split according to the temporary tenant units that inhabit it and the training type.
There is no such thing as a permanent unit housed at Novo Selo Range. According to the 2006 agreement between Bulgaria and the USA, the soldiers deployed here must stay for limited periods of time. In other words, the tenant units are in a continuous rotation. They only get here for short term training sessions.
One thing is for sure though – the Bulgarian territories can only host 2500 soldiers at a time in all the bases together. They are also not allowed to bring in their families.