Georgian Military to Depart for Afghanistan
Thursday, September 18
The departure ceremony held for Georgian soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan was held on the drill ground of the V Infantry Brigade in Gori. Members of the 51st Battalion of the V Infantry Brigade are ready to start ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania, Chief of General Staff Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze and leadership of GAF attended the solemn ceremony in Gori. The U.S. Military Attache to Georgia Col. Matthew Dimmick and Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia, William Lahue have seen off the Georgian military servicemen to Afghanistan. Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania wished them a peaceful return to Georgia: “Our 51st Battalion of the V Infantry Brigade is ready to depart and start their mission in Afghanistan. I am aware that their combat readiness is very high and according to the results of their assessments they have absolutely all necessary skills to carry out the mission successfully. This will be the first mission for the 80% of this contingent so their commanders should bear more responsibility during the mission. They have all necessary condition to carry out the mission successfully and we have thanked them and they have also received appreciation from the NATO side as well. I am sure that they will quickly adapt to the environment and we are waiting for their return to Georgia in six months,” declared Irakli Alasania. Military Band of the Defence Ministry performed the State Anthem and military personnel and invited guests held a minute of silence to commemorate the heroes fallen in fight for the territorial integrity of Georgia and in peacekeeping operations. Chaplain Giorgi blessed them and wished them successful mission. He will accompany the battalion in Afghanistan as well. The 51st Battalion will carry out ISAF mission for the first time on the Base Baghram. Military servicemen from the battalion went through intensive training at the Krtsanisi National Training Center under the guidance of the US Marine Expeditionary Brigade. They also underwent the mission oriented preparation in the German city of Hohenfels. The soldiers were trained in conducting full spectrum of operations: protection, searching, cleaning, cordon and convoy operations as well as evacuating wounded people. They also adopted the skills of communication with local population and leaders.