US General praises Georgia’s military exercise

General Hodges meets Georgian servicemen; Photo by Defence Ministry press office, 16 Nov 2014 - 15:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

Commander of the United States Army Europe, Lieutenant-General Ben Hodges is on an official visit to Georgia.

It is Hodges’s first official visit since he was appointed to the role at the beginning of the month.

Georgia's Defence Minister Mindia Janelidze and Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces ,Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze hosted the American General at the Defence Ministry today.

After this, the group visited the Georgian training centre and checked on the Staff and Command Exercise 'Didgori 2014'.

Janelidze said 'Didgori 2014' was "a very important exercise for the Georgian Army” where Georgian military servicemen were exercising their skills and experience gained during the current year.

"I would like to extend special gratitude to our American partners who are actively involved in the organisation of the exercise,” the Minister said.

"Moreover, their contribution to building the Georgian Armed Forces is invaluable. General Hodges arrived in Georgia to personally observe the ongoing exercise and take part in its assessment and analysis”.

Hodges said the exercise was going "impressively" and seeing the Minister personally participating in the training was even more impressive.

"I was very impressed at what I saw this morning watching the Minister of Defence take part in this exercise,” the US General said.

"When your Minister of Defence is personally involved in the training along with his advisers, wrestling with the challenges of securing the nation, is very impressive.”

He spoke about visiting Tbilisi as soon as he took his new job as said it was a testimony of the US commitment to support their strategic partner - Georgia.

"No matter who the governor is, the US and Georgia have common principles and interests,” Hodges said.