After nearly seven months of defending Bagram Airfield (BAF), the 51st Georgian Light Infantry Battalion (51st GLIB) officially transferred responsibility to the 43rd Georgian Light Infantry Battalion (43rd GLIB) in a transfer of authority (TOA) ceremony.
The 43rd Battalion completely Transfers Authority
Thursday, April 16
The ceremony was held at the Bagram Air Base. Chief of General Staff of the GAF, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze attended the event together with the leadership of the Coalition Forces. Major General Kapanadze awarded 10 representatives of Georgian Liaison Team from the U.S. Marine Corps with the MoD service medal “General Kvinitadze” for their role in improving Georgia-U.S. military cooperation.
"Americans and Georgians working shoulder to shoulder has proven successful because the Soldiers of both nations have exhibited the principles necessary for successful partnership -- respect, rapport, mission focus, patience, and trust," Lt. Col. Zachary Miller, Task Force Solid commander, said. "I want to especially recognize the efforts of Lt. Col. Grigolia for making sure this remained true during the transition from Task Force Sabre to Task Force Solid. And he has done the same as we transitioned from the 51st to the 43rd battalions. Today we also bid farewell to the Marines of the Georgian Liaison Team, led by Lt. Col. Pete Lang. Whether on patrol in Parwan Province, manning positions in the sector command posts, or advising Georgian staff, our Marines have enabled and supported this team in every way imaginable. Thank you, also, for your hard work, dedication to a complicated and difficult mission, and support for this coalition. I have no doubt that the Soldiers of the 43rd Battalion are prepared to accept responsibility for the security of Bagram, and I look forward to the continued partnership between our great militaries."
The 51st GLIB, responsible for base defense at BAF, is commanded by Lt. Col. Koba Grigolia. The 43d GLIB is commanded by Lt. Col. Vitali Tskhadadze. "Today is an important day in the history of the 43rd Battalion," Tskhadadze said. "We are faced with the challenge of participating in the Resolute Support Mission in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. It is our small contribution that will help to develop this country and create a strong Afghan government."
The leadership of Bagram Air Base, Tactical Group Solid and Georgian Liaison Team successfully evaluated the mission carried out by the 51st Battalion. Under the official data, the 51st Battalion maximally limited activities form insurgents and promoted to set up more stable and security environment on the ground. The 51st Battalion completed the mission without casualties and is returning to Georgia stage by stage.
The 43rd Battalion is participating in the mission for the first time. Georgian soldiers will carry out “Resolute Support” mission together with the U.S. marines under Tactical Group Solid for 6 months.