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NATO-Georgia military exercise underway

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, November 11
Georgia and the North Atlantic Treaty organization (NATO) launched the first joint NATO-Georgia Exercise 2016 at the Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) of Krtsanisi, near Tbilisi.

The training will last from November 10 to November 20, and it is the first NATO-Georgia joint multinational brigade-level, Computer Assisted, Command Post exercise (CAX/CPX), which is included in NATO's exercise list.

The exercise is testing the interoperability of Georgian, allied and partner forces, as well as command and control capabilities. This is the second NATO-Georgia exercise to take place through the SNGP (substantial NATO-Georgia Package) framework - a series of 13 defense capacity building measures agreed between Georgia and NATO at the Wales Summit in 2014.

The opening ceremony of the exercise took place at Vaziani Military Base. The ten-day training will also includ thirteen NATO members and two NATO partner states.

In total, 350 military servicemen will take part in the exercise. For the first time in Georgia-NATO relations, the exercise will be led by Georgia’s General Staff.

“We are glad that the Krtsanisi Joint Training and Evaluation Center will host NATO-Georgia Exercise 2016, which is a clear example of successful implementation of the SNGP,” Vladimer Chachibaia, Deputy Head of Georgia’s General Staff, stated.

NATO’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, welcomed the beginning of the exercise. He said the exercise was another milestone in the long-standing, deep cooperation between NATO and Georgia and further recognition of Georgia' commitment to strong defence, to NATO operations and to international security.

“NATO-GEO 2016 will train a Georgian led multinational brigade headquarters in planning, coordinating and carrying out a crisis response operation in a fictitious environment, through a computer assisted, command post exercise,” Appathurai’s Facebook post reads.

Humanitarian bodies like the inter-governmental organization, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), “Save the Children” and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are also participating in the event.