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The SOBT- (Bulgarian: Специализиран отряд за борба с тероризма; Trans: Special Unit for Combating Terrorism) is a Bulgarian Special Counter-terrorist Unit that is similar to the GSG 9, Alpha Group and other counter-terrorist units. It is expert in unconventional warfare and special operations. It is also included in counter-terrorism operations and anyone else who would threaten the Bulgarian State. Still, not a lot is known about the SOBT, the country tries its best to maintain an aura of secrecy about it, whether it is for psychological purposes or for tactical ones.

History[edit | edit source]

The SOBT was established out of the ashes of the Bulgarian communist special forces and recreated for the defense of the country. Originally put in in direct order to the MVR, it now can now be used by the Ministry of the Interior of Bulgaria or the Ministry of Defense. Total staff is 152 men. The SOBT used to refer to all specially trained units in Bulgaria such as the Para-Recon Battalion, Navy Combat Divers (Black Sea Sharks), and the Battalion for Psychological Warfare. Now, all of these were separated so they could be specifically trained for their designation though the SOBT are still trained in all of these manners. They are among the best in south-eastern Europe.

In total there are 152 men serving in SOBT:

Headquarters (14 men)
Office (5 men)
Planning Group (6 men)
Logistics (26 men)

  • Transportation and vehicles (11 men)
  • Communication (3 men)
  • Armourer (2 men)
  • Economic base (10 men)

Operations and Missions (101 men)

  • Headquarters (9 men)
  • Defense and tactical security (4 men)
  • 4 Commando groups/ Sectors 01-04 (19 men)
    • Group leader (1 man)
    • 3 Teams (6 men)
  • Sector „Training and Education“ (12 men)
    • Fitness and martial arts (1 man)
    • Group „Combat and Para“ (5 men)
    • Group „Tactical Training“ (2 men)
    • Group „Strategic Training“ (2 men)
    • Group „Pyrotechnics and Demolitions“ (2 men)

Training and Selection[edit | edit source]

All SOBT personnel started in the regular army of the Bulgarian Forces, more specifically, they usually start out in the Land Forces. As they rise in rank and show their merit of skill and military prowess and leadership skills, they can apply to train with the SOBT, though sometimes the SOBT will come to them. Training lasts for about 18 months and that is usually enough time for the men to go through all of the training to be a regular in SOBT terms. To be a team leader requires extensive training that could mean at least one more year of training though some train for three additional years. After their first year of training, the regulars go through more specific training depending on what they wish to become, whether it be a Squad Leader, Engineer, Weapons Specialist, Medic Specialist, or Comm (Communications) Specialist. Further training time also depends on their choice. The SOBT has conducted training exercises with the Spetznas of Russia as well as other respected foreign special forces teams. Afterwards SOBT operators are assembled into squads depending in each mission they take. Platoon, company, and squad numbers vary from mission to mission.

Arsenal[edit | edit source]

Their weapons are more or less like every other special forces teams arsenal, except for the Bulgarian-made AR-M4SF in 7.62x39. They also use the 9x18 Arsenal Shipka sub-machine gun, 9x19 H&K MP5A3 as well as silenced MP5K-PDW sub-machine gun and 9x19 Glock-17 pistols. Under their employment are also Steyr AUG, the AR-M1 assault rifle and Mossberg shotgun.

Armor[edit | edit source]

The SOBT uses armored vehicles to get around and a body armor superior in ballistic characteristics to the standard Kevlar Vest. They also use other heat and fire resistant clothing as well as various weather-proof clothes.

Tactics[edit | edit source]

Tactics utilized by SOBT are largely unknown, though it is considered that one of their favorites is using either Night Vision or Heat Vision goggles for spotting enemies. Long range Accuracy International L115A1 and L96 rifles are used to pinpoint hostiles even through brick and cement walls.

Future[edit | edit source]

The SOBT is hoping to be alloted more money for upgrades of its current arsenal and new armored vehicles. They will also be included in more world-wide missions as the country has pledged to devote a full eight percent of its forces to world affairs, including counter-terrorism and corruption.

External links[edit | edit source]

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