Defense Minister of Georgia started his visit to the USA with Fort Benning, Georgia – FBGA. Irakli Garibashvili viewed U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence after which he held meetings with FBGA Commanding General, Major General Gary M. Brito and Commander of 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, Brigadier General Scott Jackson and attended the presentation on officers/NCO training and garrison infrastructure development.
Following the Fort Benning Defense Minister participated in the wreath laying ceremony at National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center and paid a tribute to the memory of Georgian and American peacekeepers fallen in combat operations in Iraq.
“The names of the two Georgian peacekeepers, Corporal Zurab Gvenetadze and Lieutenant Giorgi Margievi engraved amongst the U.S. brothers and sisters in arms, here at the memorial site of Georgia National Infantry Museum, thousands of miles away from Georgia, speak about their bravery and sacrifice” – stated Irakli Garibashvili while delivering a speech and honored the heroes who sacrificed their lives for greater freedom, defending common values and goals at the watch for the protection and promotion of democratic values across the world. “It is through the resilience of our brave soldiers that we stand here today, proud, and determined to succeed even further in our path towards a more secure and prosperous future” – Defense Minister finished his speech with these words.
Georgian peacekeepers – Lieutenant Giorgi Margiev and Corporal Zurab Gvenetadze were killed while conducting combat patrols in Wahida, Iraq by an improvised explosive device on the 2nd of May 2008. By that time both soldiers served in the 13th Infantry Battalion of Georgian Armed Forces.