U.S. infantry fighting vehicles, Bradley, and other equipment are being transported on May 5, 2015 from the Batumi port to Vaziani training area outside Tbilisi for Noble Partner exercises planned for May 11-24, 2015. Photo: Sgt. Daniel Cole/U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs
U.S. military equipment, involving 14 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and several wheeled-support vehicles, have been delivered to Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi for further transportation to the Vaziani training area outside Tbilisi, where joint U.S.-Georgia military drills will start next week.
Noble Partner joint military exercise on May 11-25 will aim at enhancing U.S. and Georgian NATO Response Force interoperability, according to the Georgian MoD and the U.S. Army Europe.
About 600 U.S. and Georgian soldiers will participate in the exercises.
A mechanized infantry company from 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, which is part of the U.S. contribution to NATO Response Force in 2015, as well as a rifle company of paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will be part of the drills from the U.S. side.
The Georgian participation will include a company from 1st infantry brigade’s 12th battalion; a mechanized company from 4th mechanized brigade’s 42nd battalion and a military police unit.
Georgian forces will operate alongside U.S. forces with their BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles during the exercises, which will consist of both field training and live fire exercise; the U.S. 173rd Airborne will also partner with Georgian forces for airborne operations as part of the training, according to the U.S. Army Europe.
Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other equipment were delivered to Batumi on May 5 aboard of a cargo ferry from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna.
“This is the first time that the U.S. Army has deployed a mechanized company worth of equipment across the Black Sea,” the U.S. Army said.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Evelyn Farkas, who visited Tbilisi late last month, described the upcoming Noble Partner drills as “the most robust” that the U.S. has conducted with Georgia to date.
“It is a critical part of our [Georgia and the United States’] contributions to the NATO Response Force,” she said on April 24 in Tbilisi.