Troops and military hardware from NATO member states and Georgia’s allies have arrived in the country’s Black Sea port of Poti, a week before the multinational defence exercise Noble Partner kicks off outside the capital of Tbilisi.
Combat vehicles including the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank, Stryker armoured fighting vehicle and Bradley fighting vehicle were unloaded at the western sea port earlier today.
The hardware is now on tactical road march across Georgia in order to arrive at the Vaziani Training Area and Camp Norio site, the locations for this year’s drills which launch on August 1.
Meanwhile, part of the United States armed forces personnel designated for the exercise has also been welcomed at the Tbilisi International Airport.
Arriving in the capital, the troops of the US Army Europe 2nd Cavalry Regiment were the first to find themselves under the Georgian summer weather.
Other personnel from the US forces will follow the regiment over the next week.
Up Next: #NoblePartner 2018 in Georgia with 3k~ personnel from & Media Advisory: https://t.co/rnkly0q4MFFact Sheet:https://t.co/GK9w0Syekihttps://t.co/GoMHa1U0Hc | #StrongEuropepic.twitter.com/ZdmRoEnm3V— US Army Europe (@USArmyEurope) July 23, 2018
They will be among more than 3,000 troops training in command and field drills under the leadership of the Georgian Armed Forces and US Army Europe.
Marking the fourth time Georgia hosts the exercise, service members from 13 NATO and allied countries will be involved its increased scope.
Beside units from the host country the drills will feature troops from the US, the United Kingdom, Germany, Estonia, France, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The Stryker armoured fighting vehicle is driven down the ramp at the port earlier today. Photo: Georgia’s Defence Ministry press office.
The Ministry of Defence of Georgia said Noble Partner would also feature increased aircraft numbers from the US forces and armoured vehicles from the German units.
Involving both staff-level work and field exercises, the drills will train participants in live fire, manoeuvring and combat support element in defensive and offensive operations.
Georgia’s Defence Ministry says the multinational event aims to increase interoperability and combat readiness between Georgian and allied troops, develop combat capabilities and contribute to security in the Black Sea region.
US Army Europe service members photographed at the Tbilisi International Airport. Photo: Georgia’s Defence Ministry press office.
Last year’s Noble Partner saw over 2,800 service members from eight participating nations cooperate at the Vaziani training ground.
It followed similar exercises in eastern Europe including Saber Guardian in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary and Sea Breeze in Ukraine.