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Preparations Underway for U.S.-led Military Drills in Georgia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Jul.'17 / 14:24

U.S. army’s M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles being unloaded in Vaziani training area, July 26, 2017. Photo: Georgian MoD

U.S. military equipment, including M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, was delivered via ferry from Bulgaria to Georgia’s Black Sea port of Poti for annual joint military exercises, which will start next week outside Tbilisi.

The military equipment was then transferred by rail from Poti to Vaziani training area, east from the Georgian capital, where the third annual Noble Partner exercise will take place on July 30 – August 12. 

Over 2 800 troops will take part in the drills, including 800 Georgian and 1600 U.S. military personnel. Other participating nations include Armenia, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. 

The key purpose of the exercise is to enhance cooperation and interoperability between the participating nations. Among the goals of the drills this year, according to U.S. Army Europe, is “to support the training, evaluation and eventual certification of Georgia’s second light infantry company contribution to the NATO Response Force (NRF) for 2017.”

Among the planned training events are: airborne operations led by the U.S. 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (based in Vicenza, Italy); joint live-fire exercise of the Georgian Fourth Brigade and an American battalion from the Third Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division; U.S. Naval Forces Europe equipment transfer from Bulgaria to Poti port; and combined arms live-fire exercise built around a defensive scenario.

Noble Partner 17 is a part of a series of U.S.-led military exercises that are being held in the Black Sea region, including the Saber Guardian, held in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, and the See Breeze, held in Ukraine.

Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria commented on July 21 that “our strategic partner the United States is particularly represented in this exercise.” He also said that the number of troops and military equipment was “unprecedented,” which will “make clear the support of Georgia by the NATO member states, especially the U.S.”

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