Home Europe US special forces mistakenly storm olive oil factory during drill in Bulgaria

US special forces mistakenly storm olive oil factory during drill in Bulgaria

US soldiers in Bulgaria during exercise Swift Response
US Army WO1 Benjamin Lee, along with members of BEB C Co, 173rd Airborne Brigade, assemble after a nighttime airborne assault from Hungary into Chechnegirovo Air Base, Bulgaria as part of Swift Response 21. Photo: US Army

A team of US special operators mistakenly entered a private olive oil factory during the recent exercise Swift Response exercise that took place in Bulgaria.

According to the US Embassy in Bulgaria, US soldiers assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade had been simulating seizing and securing the Cheshnegirovo airfield in south central Bulgaria when the mistake occurred.

As part of the maneuver, the soldiers cleared building after building and moved into a factory next to the airfield that they believed was part of the airfield.

According to Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, the owner of the olive oil factory filed a lawsuit following the incident.

As can bee seen in the footage of the incident, which appeared online last week, seven soldiers armed with assault rifles entered the wrong facilities. All of the workers present at the time of the incident appeared to have remained calm in the presence of the soldiers.

The exercise during which the incident occurred, Swift Response 21, is one of many drills the US military is conducting all across Europe as part of the broader Defender Europe series.

Swift Response 21 took place in Romania, Estonia and Bulgaria encompassing over 7,000 paratroopers from ten different nations.