Georgia was granted the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) as part of the Defense and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative (DCB) at the NATO Wales Summit in 2014. The SNGP is aimed at improving Georgia’s defence capabilities, increasing its resilience, enhancing interoperability with NATO, and supporting NATO membership preparation process.
From the NATO side the implementation of the SNGP is coordinated by NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations, whereas practical execution of each initiative is supported by experts from NATO member and partner states. Majority of NATO experts reside in Georgia on a rotation-basis and a number of experts conduct regular visits.
As of September 2021, SNGP implementation is supported by 30 NATO Allies and 2 partner nations.
From the NATO side, SNGP implementation is being coordinated and monitored by the NATO Core Team deployed on the ground led by a German Colonel together with his American and Romanian Deputies.
In order to ensure effective management, whole-of-government approach and decision-making related to the refresh of the SNGP, the SNGP Interagency Council was established with the Prime Minister’s Decree dated 22 October 2019. First Deputy Minister of Defence of Georgia is designated as Chair of the Council, whereas First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Chief of the Border Police of Georgia are designed as permanent members of the Council.
First Deputy Minister of Defence and Deputy Chief of the Georgian Defence Forces (GDF) coordinate the SNGP implementation process, whereas the SNGP Implementation Division operating under the International Relations and Euro-Atlantic Integration Department of MoD Georgia together with the NATO Core Team and initiatives leaders successfully implements, coordinates and monitors the SNGP within the MoD as well as in close cooperation with relevant government agencies and NATO.
According to the 2016 Warsaw Summit decision two priority areas were identified in addition to the 13 initiatives under the SNGP. As a result, the Package was comprised of 15 initiatives and included following areas: NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC), Defence Institution Building School (DIBS), Logistics Capability Development, Cyber Defence, Strategic Communications, Crisis Management and others. Strategic and Operational Planning Initiative was successfully concluded in October 2017 and Logistics Capability Development Initiative was successfully closed in 2020.
The North Atlantic Council (NAC) took a decision to update/refresh the SNGP during its official visit to Georgia in October 2019. The refresh process was conducted throughout 2020 and was completed in December with the endorsement of the Refreshed SNGP at the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting.
As a result of the refresh process, 3 new Initiatives were defined (Military Medical Capability Development, English Language Capacity Development and Standardisation and Codification) and currently the SNGP consists of 16 Initiatives. Refreshed SNGP is more consistent and targeted towards the requirements and challenges Georgia is facing.
Following successful Initiatives should be highlighted in terms of increased interoperability with NATO and level of institutional development:
The NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) provides multinational training and exercises through which it contributes to enhanced interoperability between Georgia, NATO, NATO Allies and partner nations. In order to achieve the aforementioned goals, JTEC has established strong relations with the NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) in Poland through signing the Partnership Agreement in the end of 2020.
In November 2016, JTEC for the first time hosted joint NATO-Georgia Exercise 2016. The exercise involved 250 military personnel from 24 Allies, 2 partners and several NATO command headquarters and affiliated centers. NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019 was conducted in March 2019 in close cooperation with NATO. Georgia was the first country among the non-NATO states to be assigned the Officer Conducting Exercise role for NATO joint training. More than 300 military service members from NATO and partner countries participated in the Exercise.
The Defence Institution Building School (DIBS) deserves special recognition since it fosters professional and institutional development of the Georgian MoD, promotes a common understanding of security and defence policy across government and civil society, and improves cooperation between Georgia’s security sector, regional countries NATO Allies and partners.
The Defence Institution Building School (DIBS) actively and successfully provides increased cooperation between Georgia and relevant educational institutions of NATO and partner countries in order to introduce best practices and share experiences. DIBS is seeking to become a NATO-accredited institution in Georgia. Granting this status is scheduled by 2022.
Moreover, as a result of increased interaction with different parts of the NATO Command Structure, closer operational cooperation has been established with the Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) and Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM). NATO Special Operations Headquarters is heavily engaged in developing the Georgian Special Operations Forces capabilities. The Georgian Military Police has close cooperation with the NATO Multinational Military Police Battalion and will shortly obtain the status of full membership.
The Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Trust Fund (DCB TF) was launched in 2015. DCB packages have been launched for Georgia, Jordan, Iraq and Moldova. Under this initiative Allies and partner countries are given the opportunity to financially support DCB recipient nations.
NATO Allies and Partners provide financial assistance to Georgia under the DCB TF. As of today more than EUR 6 mln has been mobilized in support of Georgia. The aforementioned financial assistance is directed towards developing critical areas of Georgia’s defence capacity building such as Communications and Information Systems (CIS), Cyber Defence, Military Engineering, and Professional Education.
Ministry of Defence of Georgia continuously synchronizes assistance channeled through NATO and EU as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation formats in order to ensure development of Georgia’s defence capabilities and increased interoperability with NATO. This process enables targeted spending of Georgia’s and our partner countries’ resources and prevents duplication of efforts.
Georgia is not only the recipient of support from NATO but is also actively sharing experience and lessons learned. Georgia’s success achieved in transformation processes was demonstrated during SNGP Conference 2018 as the SNGP has been recognized as an exemplary “role model” approach for Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative.
Georgia in close coordination with NATO started sharing experience gained through SNGP elaboration and implementation with other DCB recipient nations.
In November 2016, JTEC for the first time hosted joint NATO-Georgia Exercise 2016. The exercise involved 250 military personnel from 24 Allies, 2 partners and several NATO command headquarters and affiliated centers. In March 2019, in close cooperation with NATO, NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019 was conducted. Georgia was the first country among the non-NATO states to be assigned Officer Conducting Exercise role for NATO joint training.
Cooperation with global and regional international organizations
Ministry of Defence of Georgia attaches particular significance to the fulfilment of commitments undertaken within the framework of cooperation with global and regional international organizations such as the UN, OSCE, ICRC, etc., which contributes to the strengthening of trust and security, and ensures peace.