The opening ceremony of Noble Partner 2017 was held at the Vaziani Military Airfield on July 30, accompanied by the National Anthem of Georgia performed by the Military Orchestra of the National Guard of Georgia.
Noble Partner drills kick off in Georgia
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, August 1
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Defence Levan Izoria, Chief of General Staff Major General Vladimer Chachibaia and U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly addressed the servicemen and highlighted the importance of Georgia’s international partnerships.
Executive and legislative officials of Georgia, as well as the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia and Georgian students attended the ceremony.
Following the official part of the opening ceremony, the invited guests talked with the soldiers participating in the multinational exercise and viewed exhibited military equipment and armament.
“Strength through Partnership” is the core message of Noble Partner 2017, which is hosted by Georgia for the third time.
The scope of the exercise is the largest so far, and involves eight NATO member and partner countries: Georgia, the USA, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Turkey, Slovenia, Armenia and Ukraine. The active phase of Noble Partner 2017 will be concluded with a demonstrative exercise at the Vaziani base on the 12th of August.
Noble Partner 2017 is a part of a U.S. Army Europe-led exercise cycle in the Black Sea region, involving the territories of seven countries.
At present, Saber Guardian 2017 is being conducted in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, while Sea Breeze is ongoing in Ukraine. In total, 50,000 troops are participating in the exercises, with one infantry company and an additional platoon representing the Georgian Armed Forces. Noble Partner 2017 is the continuation of these exercises.
Noble Partner 2017 aims to improve skills in stability and combat operations, increase the interoperability of the United States, Great Britain, Georgia and partner countries, increase combat capabilities of the NATO Response Force (NRF) and the interoperability of its units.
The training is complex and its scenario encompasses command and staff and field training, interaction of manoeuvre and combat support elements in defensive and offensive operations, including the use of airmobile elements. The scenario is intended for brigade and lower level units, including platoons, for management and control exercises in defensive and offensive operations.
More than 2800 soldiers are participating in the exercise. The U.S. Stryker and the German Boxerarmored fighting vehicles will be involved in the first training exercise. It will further involve T-72 main battle tanks, BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled DANA howitzers and Didgori armored personnel carriers of the Georgian Armed Forces, as well as the American main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and C-130 aircraft.
“I am sure the armed forces of the participating states will use the experience received at the Noble Partner 2017 for strengthening peace in the world,” Prime Minister Kvirikashvili said.
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili stressed that now Georgia is holding a “global flag of freedom, democracy, human rights.”
The Noble Partner exercises will run in Georgia until August 12.