Bulgaria’s coastline will be patrolled beginning today using 4 boats the U.S. donated to the Bulgarian Navy. Among other tasks, the 3 RHIBs (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats) and one patrol boat will help the Bulgarian Navy intercept drug and human traffickers. Today Ambassador Rubin and Navy Commander RADM Pеtev celebrated the Bulgarian Navy sailors graduating from the Patrol Craft Officer Coastal Course. The Course, taught by instructors from the U.S. Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School in Mississippi, certified the sailors to operate the new boats. “Bulgaria is the first country in the Black Sea region to receive these force protection boats from the United States. These boats, equipment and training, which amount to approximately 2 million dollars, enhance not only Bulgarian maritime security and sovereignty, but also promote Black Sea and NATO collective security. Today’s increasingly complex challenges and threats in the maritime domain, from terrorism, piracy, weapons trafficking, to illegal migration all require a professional maritime force ready to respond and adapt to a multitude of scenarios. Today’s graduates will play an important role in enhancing Bulgaria’s readiness to address these challenges.” – U.S. Ambassador Eric Rubin.