Prior to the official opening of Noble Partner 2020, U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Air Forces Europe conducted Joint Forcible Entry (JFE) – airborne operation at Vaziani air field. Defense Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, Chief of Defense Forces, Major General Giorgi Matiashvili and Commander of NATO Allied Land Command, Lieutenant General Roger L. Cloutier, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly C. Degnan and Defense Attaché Colonel Stephanie Bagley, as well Ex-Director Colonel Roland Dzneladze and the representatives of Georgian Defense Forces observed a large-scale airdrop on the ground.
Once over the drop-zone approximately 2 company-size units from the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade of U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Air Forces Europe conducted the large-scale JFE seize VTA’s airfield first time in the region.
After the airborne operation Defense Minister emphasized the Georgia-USA strategic relations, excellent partnership and the trust between the countries. “I would like to highlight the excellent partnership we have with our American partners, militaries and which has been tested for many years. The most important is a unique trust we have towards each other. This exercise is a demonstration of our relationship. The exercise aims to strengthen and intensify already existing strategic relation” – stated Irakli Garibashvili and outlined that this exercise gives a unique capabilities to Georgian soldiers to enhance interoperability and also one more demonstration that USA, NATO member countries support Georgia’s aspiration to Euro-Atlantic integration.
The airborne operation will consist of four C-130 Hercules aircrafts that depart from Mihail Kogălniceanu (MK) Airbase, Romania crossing the Black Sea with the destination of VTA. According to the scenario, the paratroopers will seize the airfield in order to allow for the multinational follow-on-forces to arrive and occupy the airfield.