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Defence Minister Started Tour around Military Bases in West Georgia

Friday, July 31
Defence Minister of Georgia Tinatin Khidasheli visited all military units of the Land Forces West Command of the Georgian Armed Forces. Since Monday she has been living in the brigades and familiarizing with infrastructure, living conditions, preparation and combat readiness of military servicemen. Chief of General Staff of the GAF, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze and the media representatives accompany Minister in the tour in the west Georgia. A week-long program is full of interesting events, like various sport activities, night owl sessions on security and defence issues, military trainings etc.

“Army is a part of our society - like pupils and teachers at school, professors and students at universities – our soldiers and officers are part of the general public. Our society should be better informed about the real situation in the Georgian Armed Forces – its infrastructure, combat readiness, their attitudes. This will help us to cope with the challenges easier. We’ve read in the books, seen in the movies that the wars are not won only by the army but by the whole society. It is not just a phase, it is a reality. Without such an approach we would not be able to deal with the local and global challenges,” said Defence Minister at the beginning of the tour.

The Minister of Defence of Georgia started her tour around the military bases of West Georgia in Adjara. Accompanied by TV reporters and Chief of General Staff of GAF Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze, Tinatin Khidasheli visited the Naval Special Task Detachment. The guests were hosted by the Special Forces Commander Colonel Dimitri Kiknadze. The visitors viewed the infrastructure of the military base and exhibited equipment.

Within the framework of the tour, Tinatin Khidasheli held meeting with the family members of the military personnel fallen for the territorial integrity of Georgia and international peacekeeping operations to talk about their problems and ways of solution. After the meeting she laid a wreath at the memorial of the fallen heroes in the region Khobi.

Defence Minsiter along with the Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze and West Commander Colonel Mikheil Sadunishvili visitied the II Artillery Brigade in Khoni. Accompanied by the reporters, Tinatin Khidasheli viewed the infrastructure of the Brigade and simulation room where the special equipment arranged by the military personnel is placed. Later the guests attended the field tactical training.

The Defence Ministry was briefed about various issues by the Brigade command and visited a new mess hall that had been equipped with modern standard utensils by the LTD “State Food Company”. Tinatin Khidasheli pledged to arrange such mess halls on all military bases throughout Georgia by the end of 2016. “The problem is complex and requires much money and time. That’s why I asked the foundation “Kartu” for assistance and they will help us to construct several new mess halls together with the Defence Ministry”. This problem will be solved by 2016. We have solved the issue of food service more or less but if the sanitary norms are not observed in the mess halls the problems will emerge again. We need to address both issues all together,” Tinatin Khidasheli said and added that one of the priorities will be to feed the Georgian military personnel with the Georgian products: “Everything will be Georgian and we’ll replace the frozen chickens and meat with the Georgian product and import only those foodstuffs that are not produced in Georgia.”

On the third day of the tour, the Minister visits the III Infantry Brigade and the Cadets’ Military Lyceum in Kutaisi.