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American Military Equipment is in Georgia

By Thea Mariamidze
Thursday, May 7
The cargo ship carrying the American military equipment for supporting the joint US-Georgia military drills arrived Batumi, Georgia, on May 5.

Fourteen Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other equipment were delivered to Batumi port aboard a cargo ferry from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna.

"The movement from Varna, Bulgaria, across the Black Sea to the port of Batumi in Georgia opens new avenues for transport with partner nations. Expanding freedom of movement enables easier access to training with allied countries as well as faster responses to contingency operations," Chief Warrant Officer Mark Shawen said.

On May 11-25 Georgia will host the US-Georgia joint exercise, named Noble Partner.

The training will be carried out at the Vaziani military airfield and training ground near Tbilisi.

The joint exercise will be conducted in Georgia for the first time and will be aimed at increasing interoperability of the Georgian contingent within NATO's Rapid Response Force and achieving the high level of operational readiness.

The exercise is a bilateral effort focused on enhancing U.S. and Georgian NRF interoperability in the context of combined arms operations.

The goal of the Noble Partner drills is the convergence of the Georgian military with the NATO Rapid Reaction Force, as well as preparation for participation in future operations and drills of NATO.

The U.S. participation includes a mechanized infantry company from the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, which is part of the U.S. Army's regionally-aligned force and the U.S. contribution to NRF 2015. Additional forces from Army Europe include a rifle company of paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Exercise Noble Partner provides an opportunity for the U.S. military to continue its training relationship with the Georgian Armed Forces as the sponsor of Georgia's participation in the NRF. The NRF provides a rapid military response force to deploy quickly, wherever needed. In addition to its operational role, the NRF can be used for disaster relief and greater cooperation in education and training.

Exercise Noble Partner will include approximately 600 U.S. and Georgian soldiers, incorporating a full range of equipment, including the U.S. Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle and several wheeled-support vehicles.

Georgian forces will operate alongside U.S. forces with their BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicle. The exercise will consist of both a field training exercise and a live-fire exercise.

The 173rd Airborne will also partner with Georgian forces for airborne operations as a part of the exercise.