- Bezmer Air Base
The Bezmer Air Base is situated in the eastern part of the Upper Thracian Lowland, in Yambol Oblast (Region), 10 km west of the city of
Yamboland 30 km southeast of the city of Sliven, between the villages of Bezmerand Bolyarsko, and near the Sofia- Burgasrailway. The base takes its name from the nearby village, which is named after Khan Bezmer of Bulgaria(7th Century AD).
The strategic location and particularly favorable weather conditions of the area was appreciated already during
World War I, when the Imperial German Air Service built in Yambola base for zeppelins used for reconnaissance and bombing missions to Romania, Russia, Sudanand Malta.
1955the Bezmer Air Base hosted the 22 Fighter Air Regiment, later transformed into 22 Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, and eventually into 22 Attack Air Base of the Bulgarian Air Force, serving as a base for Su-25 Frogfootground attack aircraft, as well as Su-22М-4 and Su-22UM-3K reconnaissance planes. Aircraft and personnel from Bezmer have recently been participating in a number of joint military exercises including the PfP‘Cooperative Key’ in Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and France, ‘Immediate Response 2005’ and the Bulgarian-American- Romanian ‘Immediate Response 2006’.
The base has a modern communication, information and navigation system. A second phase of modernization and infrastructure development is underway, including a runway extension, which would expand the range of planes the base can support.
The Bezmer Air Base is among the joint US-Bulgarian military bases established according to the
2006Defense Cooperation Agreement between the United States and Bulgaria.
Some experts rank Bezmer among the six most important American military bases outside mainland USA [ [http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3460 The Six Most Important U.S. Military Bases] ] .
Bulgarian Air Force Bulgarian-American Joint Military Facilities
* L. Ivanov and P. Pantev eds., "The Joint Bulgarian-American Military Facilities: Public opinion and strategic, political, economic, and environmental aspects", NI Plus Publishing House, Sofia, 2006 (in Bulgarian)
* L. Ivanov ed., [http://bezmer.info/index.php?pd=69&lcode=EN "Bulgaria: Bezmer and adjacent regions — Guide for American military"] , Multiprint Ltd., Sofia, 2007, ISBN 978-954-90437-8-5
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