Commander, US Marine Corps visits Georgia

Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe Robert Neller and Georgia’s Defence Minister Mindia Janelidze., 19 Nov 2014 - 21:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

Commander of the US Marine Corps Forces Europe Lieutenant General Robert Neller has arrived in Georgia for a three day visit to observe the Georgian Armed Forces(GAF) training exercises and discuss future cooperation between the US Marine Corps and the Georgian side.

Georgia’s Minister of Defence Mindia Janelidze and Chief of General Staff of the GAF Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze hosted LtGen Neller today. 

At the meeting LtGen Neller spoke about the long-standing relationship that the Marine Corps have with the GAF and Georgia’s great support to the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan and soon the Resolute Support Mission for continued stabilization of Afghanistan. 

"And as the former commander of US Marine Forces in Central Command, I can personally attest to the skill, bravery, courage and honour of the Georgian military because I have seen them with my own eyes,” LtGenNeller said. 

"Georgia is a great partner of the United States and the NATO Alliance. And they've deployed over 12,000 of their soldiers who have served in Afghanistan with honour and distinction.”

He honoured the memory and sacrifice of the 29 Georgian soldiers who lost their lives and more than 250 others who were wounded while serving in Afghanistan. 

LtGenNeller also paid tribute to the two soldiers that are currently in hospital after being wounded by a suicide bomb recently in Afghanistan. 

Before the meeting ended the US military official expressed his country’s readiness to continue working with Georgia in the future and continue to maintain and develop their relationship. 

"We look forward to further improving the readiness of their force and our force for future challenges that we face,” he said. 

Earlier today, LtGen Neller laid a wreath at the memorial of heroes fallen in the fight for territorial integrity of Georgia and paid tribute to their memory. There the military brass band performed Georgian and the American anthems.