Georgia and the United States (US) are standing shoulder-to-shoulder to upgrade the capability of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF) and develop the country’s defence systems.
As the two countries’ relations grow, Georgia is hosting greater numbers of visits by high-ranking US officials, who are directly tasked by US leadership to assist Georgia develop its military capabilities.
Today Commanding General of the US Army in Europe, Ben Hodges, is on an official visit to Georgia to deepen US-Georgian military cooperation and discuss topics related to joint Georgia-US training and exercises.
Hodges represented the unit of the US Army that was directly responsible for holding bilateral activities, said Georgia’s Ministry of Defence.
The Noble Partner exercise – a bilateral effort focused on enhancing US and Georgian NATO Response Force interoperability in the context of military-to-military relationships – was one of these trainings that was first conducted in May 2015. The second round of exercises is scheduled for next year.
The US military official, who also spoke at a conference in Tbilisi today, titled Europe's New Geopolitical Landscape.Security, Economic Opportunities, Freedom and Human Dignity in the Frontline Countries, said the joint trainings would be greatly beneficial for Georgia but also test the swiftness of the American soldiers to react to possible instances of future aggression in Georgia.
Georgia’s Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli assessed Hodges’ words as "very important”.
Commanding General of the US Army in Europe, Ben Hodges and Georgia's Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli. Photo by Ministry of Defence.
For me, as Defence Minister, General Ben Hodges’ speech was very interesting. He made some interesting points, especially when talking about Russia,” she said.
He very clearly and directly said that Russia had been busy with aggression for 20 years. I think when an American General says such phrases, it means a lot.”
The Minister added: "There were a lot of interesting nuances when he discussed joint Georgian-American exercises.
In particular, one of the objectives of these exercises will be to see how quickly the US military vehicles and soldiers will arrive in Georgia in case of aggression – something that the General stated publicly.”