An official ceremony of opening new facility of the U.S.-funded maritime fusion center in Supsa on Georgia’s Black Sea coast was held on June 24, the Georgian Interior Ministry said.
This joint maritime operations center, whose groundbreaking ceremony of construction was held fourteen months ago, increases Georgian coast guard’s capabilities to monitor, react and prevent maritime incidents, according to the Georgian Interior Ministry.
U.S. ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland, who visited the facility alongside with Interior Minister Alexandre Tchikaidze, said: “What we have been doing today here with developing Georgia's maritime surveillance and operational capability is part of a broad effort to enhance Georgian law enforcement capabilities to deal with trafficking in narcotics, trafficking in persons, trafficking in contraband.”
He also said that the fusion center will “enable the Georgian government and us, working in partnership, to have a full picture of what is going on in the immediate Black Sea region, as a way of enhancing security and maritime awareness in this region.”
Also on June 24 the U.S. Ambassador and the Georgian Interior Minister visited Georgian coast guard base in port town of Poti, where the U.S.-funded vessel repair facility was opened last year.
At a ceremony in Poti, the U.S. side handed over to the Georgian coast guard heavy maintenance vehicles and travel lift for vessel haul out.