The U.S. transferred two Island-class patrol boats to the Georgian coast guard at a ceremony in Baltimore on September 30.
“These two patrol boats will significantly increase efficiency of the Georgian coast guard and will help us to take part in various joint operations with our Black Sea partners,” said head of the Georgian Border Police, Zurab Gamezardashvili, who participated in the ceremony along with Deputy Interior Minister Shalva Khutsishvili.
The U.S. will also provide 10-week training courses for Georgian crews of the two 110 ft (34m) Island-class patrol boats, according to the Georgian Border Police.
The U.S. has been providing assistance to the Georgian coast guard since late 1990s, which also included transfer of several patrol boats, among them Point-class cutters.
According to the U.S. estimations, the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia resulted in the destruction or loss of nearly USD 30 million in U.S.-donated materials and equipment, among them four vessels, two coastal radar stations, a main operational command center and several administration buildings.
Since then the U.S. funded four new radar stations for the Georgian coast guard – in Gonio, Anaklia, Supsa and Chakvi.
A new boat basin for the Georgian coast guard, built with USD 14 million funding from the United States, was opened in Batumi in September, 2015.