The US Army is acknowledging a mistake during a training exercise involving paratroopers in Europe.
Last month, during Exercise Swift Response 21, soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade were conducting a training exercise to simulate seizing and securing a decommissioned airfield in Bulgaria when the accidentally left the training area.
The soldiers simulated entering and clearing multiple bunkers and structures across the Cheshnegirovo airfield, according to a press release issued on Monday.
“On May 11, soldiers entered and cleared a building next to the airfield that they believed was part of the training area, but that was occupied by Bulgarian civilians operating a private business,” the press release said.
The private business, which was occupied by workers at the time, is a factory that manufacturers equipment for olive oil.
While the US army assured no rounds were fired during the incident, it was reported that at least one worker had a rifle pointed at him.
“We sincerely apologize to the business and its employees,” the Army said.
Bulgarian President Radev has demanded an investigation into the cause of the mishap and the names of those responsible.
“The exercises with our allies on the territory of Bulgaria should contribute to building security and trust in collective defence, not breed tension,” he said.
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