Today, I had a very good conversation with U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen. We discussed all key issues of the U.S.- Georgia strategic partnership, as well as the ways to enhance our robust cooperation. Our strategic partnership is at the highest level and is based on common values and shared geostrategic interests.
I thanked Senator Van Hollen for U.S. Senate’s support to our country in light of progress made by Georgia in the process of democratic consolidation. Senator emphasized Georgia’s significant contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. We expressed readiness to continue working together in order to further strengthen our strategic partnership.
We have also discussed Russia’s continuous occupation of, and the difficult security and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. The Senator once again reiterated the bipartisan support of the U.S. Congress to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.
For the first time Resolute Support Mission pre-deployment mission rehearsal exercises for Georgian soldiers is being conducted in Georgia with help of American military staff. Before, such exercises were conducted in Germany where the military units got final evaluation. But currently pre-deployment mission rehearsal exercise is conducted on the Georgia Defence Forces military base. This attests to Georgia’s compliance with NATO standards and is another clear example, that Georgia has capacity and capability to successfully conduct international level exercises on Georgian soil.
The 13th Battalion of I Infantry Brigade is preparing for participation in the international mission. Today three training zones were arranged in Vaziani – the first unit performed cordon and search operation, second unit was responsible for protection the base and the third unit provided evacuation of the wounded soldiers. Around 600 military personnel participate in the closing exercise, which is the final component of 4-month long intensive preparation. Each stage of training will be evaluated that finally defines readiness level of the battalion to carry out the RSM. Pre-deployment training launched on June 5 and will come to an end on June 15.
Pre-deployment training is provided by JTEC sub-organization - Peacekeeping Operations Training Center (PKOTC) together with USMC. To date, around 18 000 Georgian military personnel underwent pre-deployment trainings and subsequently served alongside American personnel in ISAF and RSM operations.
Within the framework of the visit, the NATO-Georgia Commission will hold a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Georgia and the Deputy Secretary General of NATO.
The North Atlantic Committee and the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, for her part, will hold bilateral meetings with the President of Georgia, Prime Minister, Chairman and members of the Parliament, officials of the Georgian Government. Meetings will be conducted with representatives of the non-governmental sector. The North Atlantic Council will visit two Georgian coast guard vessels in the Batumi Port. On the sidelines of the visit, the Deputy Secretary General of NATO will deliver a lecture at the Batumi State University that is highly important in terms of increasing awareness and involvement of our students, young generation. Chairman of the Ajara Government will also speak before the attending audience.
The NAC pays its fifth visit to Georgia, which is unprecedented in the history of Georgia’s cooperation with the Council’s partner countries and a clear evidence of successively increasing level of relations and intense cooperation between Georgia and the Alliance.
Georgia, as one of the most devoted and interoperable partners of NATO attaches paramount importance to this visit of the North Atlantic Council and its unconditional political support for Georgia’s membership of the Alliance that provides yet another proof of the irreversibility of Georgia’s NATO integration process.
The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is the principal political decision-making body within NATO. Therefore, it is important that its members arrive in Georgia in person, to see for themselves Georgia’s progress in strengthening defence capabilities, as well as in successfully delivering democratic reforms.
In the margins of the visit, discussions will focus on all issues relating to Georgia’s membership of the Alliance with special accent on the political dialogue between NATO and Georgia and on the need to further deepen the practical cooperation, including in terms of strengthening Black Sea Security.
The NAC’s fifth visit will also serve as an important signal to our society. The increasing number of the North Atlantic Council’s visits clearly indicate that there are special links of cooperation between the Alliance and Georgia.
The NAC’s visit, which is held prior to the Summit of NATO Heads of State and Government scheduled for December clearly shows that Georgia as a NATO aspirant country is high on the Alliance’s agenda and is a valuable and reliable partner of NATO.
The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is the principal political decision-making body within NATO chaired by the NATO Secretary General. It brings together representatives of each member country to discuss policy or operational questions.
This visit serves as a powerful signal of the Alliance’s political support for Georgia.
From July 27 through August 9, Georgia will host the most large-scale multinational military exercise Agile Spirit 2019. The exercise will officially be opened at II Infantry Brigade in Senaki on July 27.
Agile Spirit 2019 is being conducted in Georgia for the ninth time and is aimed to enhance interoperability, train and improve operational capabilities of exercise participants during planning and execution of operations in real time within multinational environment; as well as making contribution in maintaining stable and secure environment over the Black Sea region. That’s why the main message of the Agile Spirit 2019 is - “Strength through Partnership”.
This time the exercise will be held on three locations – II Infantry Brigade in Senaki, Orpolo and Vaziani fire ranges. More than 3000 military servicemen of NATO member and partner countries will participate in Agile Spirit 2019. The following 14 countries are engaged in the exercise: Georgia, USA, UK, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.
The scenario of the combined multinational exercise includes command, staff and field trainings with live fire, engagement of maneuver and combat support elements in defensive and offensive operations.
Media representatives interested in covering the above-mentioned multinational exercise should apply for accreditation at the Ministry of Defense of Georgia starting from July 20 and ending on July 25 at 18:00 local time. Separate accreditation cards will be issued before each of the events.
29 March, 2019 - The closing ceremony was held at the NATO-Georgia Joint-Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC). First Deputy Chief of the Defence Forces Colonel Nikoloz Janjgava, the U.S. Army Lieutenant General John C. Thomson III and Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff of the NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) Brigadier General Ladislav Jung attended the ceremony.
During the ceremony, First Deputy Chief of the Defence Forces congratulated the exercise participants on the successful accomplishment of the exercise and outlined that the exercise was an excellent example of the productive cooperation.
“We all worked hard to make this remarkable event happen. We are able to conclude that the Exercise fulfilled its objectives which are, among others, to enhance our capabilities and improve our interoperability with the Allied staffs.”- stated Colonel Nikoloz Janjgava.
In his address, Lieutenant General Thomson congratulated the exercise participants on their successful accomplishment, and thanked the Georgian soldiers for their teamwork and collective efforts. Additionally, Lieutenant General Thomson stated that: “The successful conclusion of an exercise that has made us stronger. History teaches us that strength deters aggression.”
The official closing ceremony of the exercise concluded with an award ceremony. First Deputy Chief of the Defence Forces Colonel Janjgava and Lieutenant General Thomson presented certificates to the participants.
“NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019” (Computer Assisted/Command Post Exercise - CAX/CPX), held from 18-29 March, 2019 at the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) at National Centre “Krtsanisi” and involved around 350 personnel. “NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019” was the first NATO multinational brigade-level command post exercise conducted and led by the Georgian Defence Forces.
This exercise was designed to train a Georgian-led multinational brigade headquarters staff to plan, coordinate and execute scenario-based military responses to humanitarian crises. It was also testing the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and Partner Forces, as well as Georgian command and control capabilities. Additionally, it tested the ability to adopt a comprehensive approach to a non-article 5 crisis response, involving civil-military cooperation with international organizations and non-governmental organizations. Humanitarian bodies like the inter-governmental organizations: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) - were represented during the exercise, providing direct feedback and mentorship to exercise participants.
This was the second NATO-Georgia Exercise to take place through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) framework - a set of 15 defence capacity building Initiatives agreed between Georgia and NATO at the Wales Summit in 2014, and reinforced at the Warsaw Summit in 2016. The first NATO-Georgia Exercise was conducted in 2016 involving 15 NATO allied and partner nations.
“NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019” was scheduled by NATO Allied Command Transformation, conducted by the Georgian General Staff with mentoring from NATO Allied Land Command. It was directed by the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center, and mentored by the NATO Joint Force Training Centre.
This exercise was comprised of 21 Allied Nations (Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States) and 3 Partner Nations (Azerbaijan, Georgia as the Host Nation and Sweden).
The United States Ship (USS) Ross (DDG 71) arrives in Batumi for a port visit on April 21. The visit serves to highlight the continued cooperation between the U.S. and Georgia by promoting regional peace and stability. This will be the ship’s first visit to Georgia.
USS Ross is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy. The ship is capable of conducting exercises and operations in areas such as anti-submarine warfare and ballistic missile defense. While on patrol, the USS Ross will engage with NATO Allies and partners to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening ties, and to promote peace and stability in the region.
The port visit also provides American sailors an opportunity to explore local historical sites and build lasting partnerships with their Georgian Coast Guard counterparts. In addition to tours of the ship, sailors from the USS Ross will play a friendly soccer match with the Georgian Coast Guard, a basketball game with Maritime Academy students, and will meet with local youth at American Corner in Batumi.
“Our allies in the Black Sea continue to play a key role in maintaining security in the European theater,” CDR Dave Coles, commanding officer of Ross, said. “The crew and I look forward to enhancing our interoperability in a dynamic environment as well as experiencing the rich history and culture in this region.”
The U.S. Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law.
The USS Ross is commanded by CDR David Coles. The ship’s dimensions are as follows: length 505 ft (154 m), beam 66ft (20m), draft 31ft (9.4m).
The USS Ross, forward-deployed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend the NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019 today.
The Head of Government and the NATO Secretary General visited the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) where Colonel Nikoloz Janjghava, the First Deputy Chief of the Defense Forces of Georgia, informed them in detail about the progress in the exercise.
Mamuka Bakhtadze and Jens Stoltenberg also visited the multinational brigade and attended an introductory briefing on the purposes and goals of the training audience.
The Prime Minister of Georgia and the NATO Secretary General also met with armed forces members wounded and injured in international missions, and thanked them for their selfless service.
The Command and Staff Exercise hosted by JTEC on March 18-29 brings together almost 350 armed forces members and civilians. The NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019 is the first joint brigade-level command and staff exercise carried out under the leadership of Georgia's Defense Forces. The exercise seeks to enhance the interoperability between the Georgian, NATO, and partner countries' armed forces, and to expand Georgia's command and control capabilities.
Prime Minister's Press Office
The NATO Military Committee and its Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach will be in Tbilisi, Georgia on 27 and 28 March 2019.
As a show of support to its long-time partner, the NATO Military Committee will hold a meeting in the NATO-Georgia format chaired by the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Peach and the Georgian Minister of Defence, Mr Levan Izoria. The opening remarks will be open to the media. The NATO Military Committee will receive an overview of the regional security situation, including the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the Black Sea. The NATO Military Representatives will then be briefed on the ongoing implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, the ongoing Georgian Reforms as well as the continuing Georgian contributions to NATO operations and exercises.
On the 28th of March, the NATO Military Committee will head to the Vaziani Military Base to receive a briefing from the Combat Training Centre and visit the Georgia Defence Readiness Programme, a bilateral programme designed, by the US, to improve Georgian troops’ combat readiness and develop a self-sustaining institutional capacity to man, train and equip their national missions.
The NATO Military Committee will then proceed to the Joint Training and Evaluation Centre to observe the “NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019”. This joint multinational brigade-level, Command Post exercise aims to further develop the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and Partner Forces, as well as Georgian command and control capabilities.
President Salome Zourabichvili – NATO Open Door Policy is the Cornerstone for NATO-Georgia RelationshipMonday, 25 March 2019 16:33
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili hosted the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, as part of his official visit to Georgia.
The President of Georgia expressed her gratitude to Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg for visiting Georgia and stated that it is a pleasant and respectful fact to see Georgia and NATO hosting together NATO-led military exercises, an important message manifesting the level of our confidence-based relationship.
“The path that we follow is a very important sign for Georgia’s population - this path is irreversible and there is no alternative. Everything is done on our side, including military and political reforms, to strongly keep this path.
“NATO’s Open Door Policy is the cornerstone for the NATO-Georgia Partnership. This policy continues, especially following the accession of North Macedonia - an important step,” said the President of Georgia.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Georgia is an extremely valuable partner and the door is open for Georgia.
NATO continues to support Georgia and urges the Russian Federation to withdraw its forces from the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia.
“Madam President, it is really great to be back and meet you again. We last met in Brussels and now here in Tbilisi; that shows strength and high-level of partnership activities that we now have between Georgia and NATO.
“Georgia is a highly valued partner of NATO. Today, I have visited the Joint Training Center where we now are conducting joint exercises - Georgia and the several NATO allies and some partners.
“It shows that Georgian soldiers and the NATO soldiers are able to operate side-by-side and work together. And, I am extremely grateful for Georgia’s contributions in our shared security.
“Georgia is a part of NATO Response Force. Georgia contributes in our mission in Afghanistan and by working so closely together, we are strengthening the security of NATO allies and also helping you. This is something which is in the interest of both Georgia and NATO.
“Georgia is really a unique partner. We welcome the progress you are making, the reforms you are implementing, and we urge you to continue on that path of reforms.
“NATO leaders have stated again and again that Georgia will become the member of the Alliance. I was present at NATO Summit in Bucharest in 2008, where we stated that for the first time. But, we made the same statement, Georgia will become the member of Alliance, after the NATO Summit in July in Brussels last year.
“We will continue to support you as you walk towards membership and we, of course, also recognize and strongly support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. And, therefore we call on Russia to withdraw its forces from South Ossetia and Abkhazia and its recognition of these territories because they are part of Georgia within Georgia’s internationally recognized borders.”
The meeting was attended by Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Davit Zalkaliani, Minister of Defense Levan Izoria, Chief of Georgian Defense Forces Vladimer Chachibaia, Head of Presidential Administration Lasha Zhvania, Head of the Georgian Mission to NATO Alexandre Maisuradze, and Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Ketevan Makharashvili. From the North Atlantic Alliance’s side, the meeting was attended by Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Security Policy and NATO Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai, Military Assistant to the Secretary-General Gjermund Eide, Head of NATO’s Liaison Office in Georgia Rosaria Puglisi, Officer of the Euro-Atlantic and Global Partnership at the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division Steffen Elgersma, and Deputy Spokesperson Piers Cazalet.
Jens Stoltenberg’s visit gives yet another powerful impetus to Georgia’s integration with NATO – David ZalkalianiMonday, 25 March 2019 12:13
The Minister said that Jens Stoltenberg’s visit also coincides with NATO military exercises, in which an unprecedented number of NATO partners and members take part.
According to Zalkaliani Georgia has all practical instruments for integration with NATO and Georgia is recognized as a leader in terms of implementing these instruments.
The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Georgia on 24 March. At the Tbilisi International Airport he was met by Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, Georgia’s Representative to NATO Aleksandre Maisuradze, Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia, Rosaria Puglisi, Poland’s Ambassador to Georgia Mariusz Maszkiewicz.
Within the framework of the visit, the NATO Secretary General will hold meetings with the Prime Minister of Georgia, President, Chairman and members of the Parliament.
Jens Stoltenberg will also visit the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) and will attend the joint exercises organized by the Centre.