Minister of Defence of Georgia Levan Izoria and Chief of the General Staff of the GAF Brigadier General Vladimer Chachibaia visited the United States (US) European Command’s 7th Army training base in Hohenfels, Germany. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General US Army Europe and Training Base Commander, Brigadier General Antonio Aguto hosted the Georgian delegation.
During the meeting with the U.S. General, Minister focused on the significant contribution of the U.S. European Command in the development of Georgia`s defence capabilities and outlined that three-year framework agreement on cooperation in security field defines the long-term tasks of bilateral cooperation that will promote strengthening of defence potential of the GAF. The sides also discussed the plans of implementing Georgia Defence Readiness Program. Under the GDRP, it is considered to build Combat Readiness Centre similar to the one in Hohenfelse . General Ben Hodges will arrive in Georgia for the discussions around the GDRP. “We have discussed ambitious plans with the General and are going to carry out them this year. This day is historical indeed. We have addressed and agreed upon the GDRP details. We also expect Brigadier General to visit Georgia in the nearest future to hold discussions about program implementation”, declared Minister Levan Izoria.
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General of the US Army in Europe held the briefing, presented the 21st Command Concept to the visitors and gave a high appreciation about the preparedness level of the Georgian peacekeepers taking a special pre-deployment training course in Hohenfelse. The U.S. General evaluated the Georgian military as reliable partners and commended the transformation process within the MoD: “the leadership that I see from Georgian Ministry of Defence focus on innovation and transformation and are serious about providing the best possible defence for Georgia that is what I saw from the Minister and CHOD.A always I was impressed by the young soldiers from Georgia. The contingent is preparing for the mission in Afghanistan. They are smart; they are great members of the team. I have a lot of confidence in them. Certainly, our Americans know that Georgia has always done more than its share. It is proud and reliable partner. I think Georgia is a leader in a region also, in such a challenging part of the world. As a European country that is a portal to the Europe for so much to the rest of the world. It has an opportunity to lead and to provide stability in the Caucasus and in the Black Sea region. What I see today from the meeting with Minister and CHOD, I am very optimistic about their direction. Of course, we are going to continue to train with Georgians. Hohenfelse and Grafenwoehr Bases` Commander is going to Georgia just in a few weeks to look at continued work there at the Georgian Training Centre.
I think the relationship is strong and is going to continue that way. Americans have been with the people who love freedom and who do their share and who fight for their freedom.” outlined Ben Hodges.
In the framework of the visit in Hohenfelse, Brigadier General Antonio Aguto talked about the operating principles of Command Centre with the guests. Later on Minister and Chief of GS moved to the U.S. Joint multinational Readiness Centre (JMRC) to get familiar with the methods of evaluation of Georgian contingent`s preparedness level in the course of the training.
At the end of the visit in Germany, the 23rd Battalion of II Infantry Brigade held a demonstrative exercise for the Georgian delegation. “I would like to emphasize the high preparedness level of the Georgian military they have shown during the demonstrative training. They are professional soldiers. We feel pride every time we hear the words of appreciation about them. We will continue to implement important reforms to ensure the high preparedness level of our military and enhanced defence potential of Georgian troops as required under the NATO standards” , remarked Minister Levan Izoria.
The training scenario is maximally closer to the reality of Afghanistan. The Georgian military are adopting the necessary skills of communication with the local population in an imitated Afghan city and are trained to adapt to the environment where they will have to fulfill the mission. The U.S instructors are training the Georgian soldiers in counter-insurgency operations, preparing, clearing and maintaining the battle field as well as protecting security. After the training course in Hohenfelse, the 23rd Battalion personnel will leave for Afghanistan to engage in the Resolute Support Mission in Kabul and Bagram Air Field under the command of the United States military forces.