TBILISI, Georgia - Georgian armed forces proved capable of NATO standards in a multinational exercise here March 18-29 as one part of an ongoing process by the country to join the Alliance.
In total, some 350 personnel from 24 Allied and partner nations participated in NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019 at the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre.
Georgia is one of NATO’s closest partners, working with the Alliance on security in the Black Sea region. Georgia is also the largest non-NATO contributor to the Alliance’s training mission in Afghanistan and it contributes to the NATO Response Force.
"Through our cooperation over so many years, Georgian forces have become more capable and more interoperable with our forces than ever before,” said Admiral James Foggo, commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples. "I’m thrilled with all the Georgian efforts to integrate with other NATO militaries and adhere to international military norms.”
The exercise trained a Georgian-led multinational brigade headquarters staff to plan, coordinate and execute scenario-based military responses to humanitarian crises. It also tested the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and partner forces, as well as Georgian command and control capabilities.
"I look forward to a continuing, growing military-to-military relationship,” said Foggo, who met with Georgian Minister of Defense Levan Izoria.
Earlier in the week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the exercise and held talks with the President of Georgia, Ms. Salome Zourabichvili and Prime Minister, Mr. Mamuka Bakhtadze, among others.
Last summer in Brussels, NATO leaders reconfirmed the 2008 Bucharest Summit decision that Georgia will become a member of NATO. The Secretary General praised Georgia’s progress in making important reforms and encouraged it to continue these efforts.
In August 2008, Russia occupied the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. NATO condemns the continuing Russian military presence and its actions there. Allies continue to support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders, and call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.
Story by JFC Naples Public Affairs Office