Minister visits Hohenfels military base
Thursday, February 20
The delegation of the Ministry of Defence of Georgia led by Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania, visited the U.S. Hohefelse base in Germany. The Special Mountain and 23rd Battalions of the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the GAF are going through Mission Rehearsal Exercises in the U.S. Joint Multinational Readiness Centre (JMRC). The training includes the assessment of the preparedness level of military units as well. Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania and Chief of General Staff of the GAF Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze attended the final phase of the pre-deployment preparation and got familiar with the training process guided by U.S. military instructors. The U.S. partners presented a detailed training scheme of the Georgian military to the MoD leadership. The preparation level of the Georgian military and their readiness to perform the duties were positively evaluated by the U.S. Marine Forces Training and Advisory Group. Within the frames of the visit in Germany, leaders of the MoD held meetings with Lt. Gen. Richard T. Tryon, Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and LTG Donald M. Campbell, Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe. The sides discussed recent and future bilateral cooperation aspects with marine and land forces. “We are glad that our troops, officers and military servicemen in general revealed an extremely high level of professionalism. Their combat readiness is very high. I am sure that the experience gained in Germany will help them launch and finish the mission in Afghanistan successfully. I am sure that such a well-prepared army is the strong foundation for increased defence capabilities and overall security. I would like to thank our soldiers once again for their devoted service to the motherland. We have also held meetings with the representatives of the US Command and generals, who lead the U.S. Army in Europe. We have invited them to Georgia to continue the observation of the build-up of the Georgian Army. The visits of such a format are planned in May. I have received a high appreciation of the operational readiness of the Georgian military just from these generals. The U.S.-Georgia military cooperation is very intensive. I would say that this will be strengthened further in the upcoming months and it has a real strategic character,” said the Minister of Defence. At the military base in Hohenfels, the training environment is close to the real situation of Afghanistan. An imitated Afghan city is created, where the Georgian military are mastering skills of communication with the local population, as well as adapting to the environment where they will have to perform the peacekeeping mission. At the training base of Hohenfels, the U.S. instructors are giving preparations to the Georgian military on how to conduct counter-insurgency operations, prepare a battlefield, demine the territory and maintain security. Following the preparation in Hohenfels, the Georgian military will be deployed in Afghanistan. Their main task will be to conduct patrols in their area of operation for the safety of the population and set-up mobile control posts there. Before going to Hohenfels, the 23rd and Special Mountain Battalions underwent 6 months of intensive preparations at the National Training Centre in Krtsanisi for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan going on under the aegis of NATO. The military personnel of both battalions were prepared for the full-spectrum of operations and practiced in protection, searching, cleaning, cordon and convoy operations, studied evacuation procedures and skills of communication with the local population and their leaders. Lt. Gen. Richard T. Tryon, Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and LTG Donald M. Campbell, Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe plan to visit Georgia in May to personally observe the building process of the Georgian army.