US Army unit trains with Georgian troops in “first ever” event

  • Troops advance during live fire training earlier today. Photo: Georgia’s Defence Ministry press office., 7 Dec 2018 - 17:33, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian defence officials have praised a “new stage” in defence partnership between the United States and Georgia as a US Army unit joined Georgian troops in a combined live fire event this week.

It represented the climax of the participation of the Cobra Company, 1st Armoured Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division of the US Army Europe in combat readiness assessment on Georgian training areas over the week.

The event marks the first case of a US unit holding training in the country, using local infrastructure, outside of annual multinational drills.

The event saw service members from the partnering states navigate to target locations under dawn, breach obstacles, engage a simulated enemy, secure buildings and perform casualty evacuations.

The combined performance was praised as a “new stage” in the US-Georgian defence cooperation by Levan Izoria, the Minister of Defence of Georgia, earlier today.

Georgian service members observe target buildings from a hilltop location. Photo: Georgia’s Defence Ministry press office.

Izoria said benefits of the training would “increase combat capabilities of [Georgian] service members” and were a “testament” to the fact that Georgia was “closer to NATO” as a result of the country’s defence reforms.

Training events over the week were also hailed by US troops, with 2nd Lieutenant Stephen Greenway telling a US Army Public Affairs Detachment “[t]he partnership the unit has with Georgia is incredibly important.”

Defence Minister Levan Izoria greets a US Army service member involved in the event. Photo: Georgia’s Defence Ministry press office.

The Cobra Company has been involved in the collective readiness exercise at Georgia’s Vaziani and Norio Training Areas since early November.

The exercise is also held in support of the Georgia Defence Readiness Programme. The GDRP sees the US Army advise and mentor their Georgian counterparts for increasing their combat readiness.