An attack was conducted on a combined motorized patrol in the vicinity of the Bagram Air Base, in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. As a result, Soldier of the 23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade who served in the “Resolute Support” mission, Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili (23.10.1991) was killed in Action. Junior Sergeant Bebiashvili served in the Georgian Armed Forces since 2010. He participated in the ISAF mission in 2012 and 2014. He has received medal for “Participating in Peacekeeping Operations”.
Three Georgian servicemen were wounded in an attack. The health condition of Captain Mikheil Gvirjishvili is stable but critical; the wounds of two other servicemen, Senior Lieutenant Giga Khakhutashvili and Corporal Gela Kharshiladze are not considered life threatening. All three of them are receiving treatment at Bagram Air Base Hospital.
The Ministry of Defence of Georgia expresses deepest condolences to the family of fallen peacekeeper, Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili.
The Defence Minister of Georgia Levan Izoria expresses deepest condolences over the death of the Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
“I express my deepest condolences over the death of the Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili who served in 23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade. The Junior Sergeant and his platoon was on patrol with the American and local military forces when two suicide bombers carried out a terrorist act. Three Georgian servicemen were wounded in an attack. The wounds of two servicemen are not considered life threatening, and the condition of the third military serviceman is stable but critical, but everything is done in the hospital to improve its condition. In this very difficult period of time, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of our fallen comrade”, - said Defence Minister.
The US Ambassador to Georgia H.E. Ian Kelly has also expressed his condolences over the death of the Georgian servicemen. During his telephone conversation with the Defence Minister, Ambassador said that he expresses deepest condolences over the incident to the Georgian Armed Forces and the family members of the fallen soldier.
Today, within an official visit to Germany, the Minister Defence of Georgia Levan Izoria met his German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen and discussed the aspects of bilateral cooperation in the field of defence.
After the introduction to the transformation process in the Ministry of Defence of Georgia, German minister gave a promise of support to the ongoing military reforms. In his address, Levan Izoria emphasized Georgia’s commitment to its obligations to NATO and reaffirmed the participation of Georgian peacekeeping forces in the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan.
The meeting involved discussions on Georgia-NATO relations. Levan Izoria expressed gratitude to Germany for its contribution in the implementation of Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) and underlined its initiatives – Defence Institutional Building School (DIB) and Joint Train and Evaluation Center (JTEC) as the examples of successful cooperation. Minister also noted the declaration of the year 2017 as Georgia-Germany Year, which involves number of important events aimed to strengthen the ties between Georgian and German people.
Later, Levan Izoria held meeting with the Under-Secretary for Foreign and Security Policy Christoph Heusgen at German Chancellery and discussed the dynamics of Georgian-German cooperation.
Within the visit to Germany, the members of Georgian delegation visited Magdeburg Combat Readiness Center, where they attended pre-deployment training exercise demonstration by Georgian servicemen, who are preparing for participation in the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan.
From May, 30th to June, 24th the inner qualifying tests, which includes the physical, medical and psychological examination will be held at the National Defence Academy.The university entrants will undergo physical test at the NDA base in running, push ups and sit ups. The applicants will also be the subject of physiological selection, including diagnostic testing and an interview with the admissions committee. The psychological selection will be conducted by the representatives of the NDA Psychological Services Section and the Department of the Psychological Selection and Monitoring of the General Staff.The University Entrants will undergo the medical examination at the LEPL Giorgi Abramishvili Military Hospital of the Ministry of Defence.
The Government of Georgia made a decision to establish Air Forces Command that will bring together the aviation and air defence components. As Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli declared the Air Forces Commander will be appointed in the nearest future.
“Very important reformation and transformation process is underway at the Ministry of Defence of Georgia. After the consultation and with the consent of the National Security Council, we implemented the first stage of these reforms and created two – East and West Commands. The next step is aviation and air defence reform. After several months of talks, discussions and detailed negotiations with the General Staff the Government of Georgia approved the relevant amendment about establishment of a new command. By the end of the week we’ll nominate a new Air Forces Commander. I do hope that the Command will be formed by the end of June. This is a very important process as Air Defence is one of the priorities for our country and we have tools to realize this with the help of real and practical mechanisms. The Georgian-French contract is in active phase, air defence and aviation are one of the priorities in the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package. It is very important to accomplish these reforms before the Warsaw Summit prior to new decisions and tools will be taken with regard to Georgia. This is very important to meet new challenges with ready and completed command and our expectations are very positive,” Tinatin Khidasheli said.
Electronic management system of classified documentation is being introduced in the Ministry of Defence. First Deputy Defence Minister Davit Ebralidze informed the representatives of the MoD, other state organs and the large companies operating in the field of informational technologies about the system and underlined advantages of electronic document management system.
“In modern days, paper communication is less effective than electronic one increasing effectiveness of labour. This is very important project in terms of introducing informational technology systems. Certainly, going through the program adaptation and associated security steps will take time but this will be made in parallel format. We are sure that MoD employees will soon adopt the program that will lead to the new phase of electronic communication” said Deputy Minister Davit Ebralidze.
Electronic Document Management System “Documentum” is already approved and introduced in different European and NATO countries. The MoD underwent consultations with Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Affairs using the electronic system for recording the electronic histories of patients. The MoD will introduce it first in the Military Hospital and then within the whole Armed Forces.
Within the visit in Georgia, Commander of the US European Command Philip Breedlove met with the Georgian Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli. After the meeting, a joint press conference was made for media representatives.
Tinatin Khidasheli summarized the results of the meeting with General Breedlove and talked about his visit: It is a privilege to host General Breedlove today, because it is last 45 days in his current position serving. Georgia is one of the countries that were selected for the visit and I think it is an excellent testimony to show that our country is long-standing partner for the US. It is a proof of friendship, when people say “good-bye” and go to a country where they consider having the most of the friends and partners, and they would like to share their thoughts and recommendations. This is, precisely, a friendship and cooperation, which is strengthening our statehood and, in this particular case, it’s mutually reinforcing US-Georgia and NATO-Georgia relations in the field of defence and security. Since yesterday was even more symbolic that General Breedlove is with us and we are talking about security issues in Tbilisi. We share to each other our positions, attitudes and try to find a solution to the very complex world in which we all find ourselves together”.
In his remarks General Breedlove also thanked Georgia for its contribution to international security and highlighted main messages: “First of all it’s great to be back to Tbilisi. I appreciate the warm hospitality of Minister Khidasheli and her team. I thank you for the opportunity to highlight the strong relationship we enjoy between US European Command, NATO and our strategic partners in Georgia.
Before I address my visit here, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the tragic events in Brussels yesterday. My thoughts and prayers go out for all that impacted by these horrible terrorist attacks. We strongly condemn these attacks and we will continue to stand by Belgium and our NATO allies and partners to defeat these terrorists who threaten our freedom and our way of life.
The security situation across Europe continues to evolve and become more complex. We continue to face security direct challenges from two directions. To the east we face resurgent aggressive Russia which has voluntarily chosen to be an adversary and pose an aggressive long-term threat to the United States and our European allies and partners. To the south, Europe faces the daunting challenge of mass migration spurred by state instability and collapse and masking the movement of criminals, terrorists and foreign fighters. As a result of conflict in the region, “Daesh” is spreading like a cancer and threatening European nations with terrorist attacks. Its brutality driving millions to flee from Syria and Iraq and creating unprecedented humanitarian challenge.
As we work with allies and partners to respond and to overcome both of this serious threats we stand fully behind Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Today I was privileged to visit the administrative boundary line with your chief of defence and our ambassador. There I witnessed the division of Georgian people. As your brave valiant nation has witnessed, Russia continues to extend its coercive and corrosive influence on its periphery. Now it's also trying to reestablish leading and aggressive role in a world stage. Russia automatically seeks to overturn the established rules and principles of the international system, fracture the unity of the free world and to challenge our solidity.
NATO is privileged to have a steadfast partner like Georgia. It continues to be an extremely valuable contributor to the international security. We all know that Georgia is the second largest contributor of troops to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. Through these deployments Georgia is playing an important role in maintaining international peace and security. We are extremely grateful to the Georgian people for being such a committed provider of international security.
The U.S. Military and the Georgian Armed Forces have served together, side by side, for more than fifteen years in international security missions. Both of our militaries know what it means to be brothers –in-arms in today’s increasingly complex security situation. The current efforts of the United States military assistance in Georgia are focused on strengthening Georgia’s self-defence capabilities as well as deepening further Georgia interoperability with the United States and NATO. Our goal is that Georgia be as prepared as possible so that when NATO is ready to go Georgia will be ready to go as well.
To reiterate – the United States supports Georgia’s aspirations to join the NATO Alliance. This has been our position since the 2008 Bucharest Summit.
We greatly look forward to our upcoming joint exercises with Georgia which will further strengthen our partnership and bring Georgia even closer to our standards. Both the Noble Partner and Agile Spirit exercises will enhance our ability to interoperate with NATO partners like Georgia that is contributing forces to NATO Response Force. In May, Noble Partner 2016 will bring Georgian, US and UK soldiers together at Vaziani training area for three weeks to exercise our respective NATO Response Force capabilities and it will be bigger and better than last year’s Noble Partner exercise.
Finally, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to you Madam Minister, to the people of Georgia and especially to the valiant Georgian troops for their self-sacrifice alongside the NATO Allies and Partners in our shared security missions around the world. We’ve long served together for peace and security in dangerous theaters and in the process. We’ve forged very close bonds. Georgia is a noble partner indeed and we look for to deepening our partnership to promote a safer, more secure future for both of our countries and nations.”
After the opening remarks, press conference continued in an interactive format.
The personnel of Ministry of Defence of Georgia finished the English Language Course. The military and civil personnel of the MoD underwent the course in different levels in 2014-2015.
Deputy Minister of Defence Ana Dolidze and Defence Attaché of the United Kingdom to Georgia LTC Nick Wilkes awarded certificates to the 30 course graduates, congratulated them on finishing the course and wished them success. Director of the British Council to Georgia Zaza Furtseladze attended the event.
Deputy Minister thanked the UK Embassy to Georgia and the British Council for their support and underlined significance of teaching the English language to the military servicemen.
The English language course was organized by the UK Embassy, financed by the UK Ministry of Defence and implemented by the British Council. The similar courses are conducted for the MoD representatives on a regular basis and will continue in future as well.
Minister’s Christmas Tree celebration for the children of Georgian MoD employees was held at Defence Ministry on behalf of Minister Tinatin Khidasheli. Defence Minister, Chief of General Staff and their deputies attended the celebration with their children.
Actors of entertainment center “Happy Lounge”, as well as clowns, acrobats and magicians tried to create New Year spirit for children. Nodar Dumbadze Youth Theatre performed "Little Red Riding Hood".
Following the performance, Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli and Chief of General Staff, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze wished them a Marry Christmas and a Happy New Year and handed them over the presents.
“We have decided to hold an event for the children of our civilian and military employees. We wanted to decorate Christmas Tree together with children and then attend a performance. As it got dark we lit up the Christmas Tree. It is too little we are able to do for those people who serve Georgia for 24 hours. We tried to present a pleasant day one another”, outlined Tinatin Khidasheli at the end of the celebration.
The event came to an end with lighting up Christmas Tree in the MoD yard accompanied by Christmas songs performed by military orchestra. Santa Claus and fairy tales characters created New Year spirit for children around the Christmas Tree.
Defence Minister of Georgia Tinatin Khidasheli met with the parliamentary delegation of Ukraine. Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee of the Georgia Parliament, Tedo Japaridze attended the meeting as well.
Sharing experience of the reforms carried out in the Georgian defence sphere was one of the main issues at the meeting with the head of the delegation - Chairman of Euro Integration Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ivana Klimpush-Tsintsadze. As she stated, the Defence Ministry of Ukraine plans to carry out reforms and sharing experience from the Georgian side is very useful for Ukraine.
Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli offered the Ukrainian side the cooperation in JTEC. Rehabilitation of the Ukrainian military at Tserovani Rehabilitation Center was also discussed at the meeting. The Ukrainian guests thanked Georgia for this opportunity. As Defence Minister outlined, Georgia will offer the Ukraine the rehabilitation course for their military in the future as well.
The Parliamentary Delegation of Ukraine represents Georgia’s friendly group in the Ukrainian Rada.
Military personnel who had returned from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan went through a psychological examination. Psychological monitoring is carried out by the Department of Psychological Selection and Monitoring under the project – Shoulder to Shoulder.
Psychological monitoring of the Combined Company of the 31st Battalion of the III Infantry Brigade who performed the RS mission in Afghanistan took place on Adlia military base located in Batumi. Screening was implemented by the approved protocol in the United States of America. The aim of the process is to reveal the post-trauma stress and assist military personnel in solving the problems.