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NATO starts military exercise in Georgia

By Mariam Chanishvili
Friday, July 21
NATO's multinational military exercise 'Noble Partner - 2017' will take place on Vaziani military aerodrome near Tbilisi from July 20 to August 12.

The armed forces of eight countries: Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Slovenia and Ukraine will be taking part in the military training. These countries will be united under the banner describing the motto of the exercise “Strength through Partnership.”

The training includes more than 2800 military servicemen. The German-made armored fighting vehicle Boxer will participate in the exercise for the first time. U.S. Abrams Main Battle Tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Stryker Armored Fighting Vehicles and C-130 “Hercules” aircraft will be represented in it as stated by the Ministry of Defense of Georgia.

The military exercise will be a great step to improve the country’s defense capabilities and develop the Georgian Armed Forces’ in conformity with troops of NATO and partner countries.

A preliminary conference involving planners from the partnering countries was held in Georgia in March.

Established in 2015, the Noble Partner Exercise was founded to train service members from Georgian Armed Forces and NATO member states for the NATO Response Force (NRF) unit.

This military exercise will improve defensive and/or offensive skills of participants, deepen cooperation between representatives of Georgia’s armed forces and NATO member countries, improve training capabilities of NATO forces, and develop cooperation among NATO countries.

US Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend the opening of the exercises. During the visit, he will meet the Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.