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Sep 5 2020

NATO ALLIED LAND COMMAND COMPLETES SECOND ROUND OF STAFF TALKS WITH GEORGIAN DEFENCE FORCES

Norwegian Army Lieutenant Colonel Tore Bade discusses NATO Military Cooperation (MILCOOP) during LANDCOM-Georgia Defence Forces Land Staff Talks September 1-2, 2020. 
TBILISI, Georgia – A delegation from Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) conducted a second round of staff talks with Georgian Defence Forces September 1-2, 2020, as part of an ongoing effort to build interoperability and capability in the key NATO Partner’s land forces. The talks were held at the Georgian Defence Forces Headquarters complex in their capital city of Tbilisi.

The Georgian Ministry of Defence formalized their relationship with LANDCOM in a letter of cooperation signed in March, 2019 following a first round of staff talks held at LANDCOM’s headquarters in Izmir, Turkey earlier that  year. LANDCOM’s new commander, Lieutenant General Roger L. Cloutier Jr., opened the first day of talks with a message of commitment to his new friends.

I’m hoping that through these staff talks we can identify some areas of convergence, some areas that we can come together as partners, and improve capability development and interoperability, which as NATO LANDCOM Commander is one of my primary responsibilities,

said Lieutenant General Cloutier. 

For LANDCOM staff, the objective for this second round of talks was two-fold: Find additional opportunities for Georgia’s land forces to participate in exercises and training alongside the land forces of NATO nations, and start the process to get Georgian staff officers assigned to key Partner Staff Posts (PSP) within LANDCOM.

“Georgia has been for years a reliable and close partner, and Georgian troops have been deploying and today are still operating alongside Alliance troops in operations,” said Spanish Army Brigadier General Jose Martinez, LANDCOM Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and senior LANDCOM staff delegate. “LANDCOM is determined to contribute to strengthening and improving the interoperability of Georgian Defence Forces, and build a solid and durable relationship with our Georgian partners as a priority.”

Georgia is already a significant troop contributor to NATO’s international security efforts. From 1999 to 2008, they provided a company-sized unit as part of a German brigade and an infantry platoon within a Turkish battalion task force. Georgia was also one of the largest non-NATO troop contributors to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which completed its mission in 2014, and continues to contribute as one of the top contributors to the Resolute Support (RS) mission there with over 800 soldiers.

Georgian Army Brigadier General Irakli Chichinadze (left), Deputy Chief of Defence for Georgia,  accepts a commemorative plaque from Spanish Army Brigadier General Jose Martinez, LANDCOM Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans. 

Norwegian Army Lieutenant Colonel Tore Bade, LANDCOM’s Military Cooperation (MILCOOP) Branch Head whose office organised the talks, says he’s encouraged by the progress he’s seen over the last year in this burgeoning relationship.

“Our counterparts, our Georgian friends are eager to learn, eager to build their resilience and capability,” he said, emphasizing LANDCOM’s role in helping the Georgian’s become more NATO interoperable. “I already have a number of NATO Partner officers working in my branch, and the prospect of gaining a Georgian staff officer to join us at LANDCOM will certainly elevate the importance of the work we are doing with Georgia’s Land Forces.”

Georgian Army Lieutenant Colonel Giorgi Tvauri, an Army officer who currently serves as part of the Georgian Ministry of Defence General Staff J5 Division, organized Georgia’s side of the talks and knows the significance of their work with LANDCOM.

“The staff talks went very well. I couldn’t imagine they could be so good, we identified some areas of cooperation, and we will have really good cooperation with the upcoming NATO-Georgia Exercise (NAGE),” he said. “We are progressing, our partnership, our cooperation became stronger… our defence forces will be enhanced and resilient.”

Georgian Army Brigadier General Irakli Chichinadze (left), Deputy Chief of Defence for Georgia,  accepts a commemorative plaque from Spanish Army Brigadier General Jose Martinez, LANDCOM Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans. 
NATO-Georgia Exercise (NAGE) implements one of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) initiatives, which aims to strengthen Georgia’s defence capabilities and ensure they maintain and further improve their interoperability with the Alliance. As a result of NATO Command Structure Adaptation (NCS-A), SHAPE has taken full responsibility for future iterations, including the next NATO-Georgia Exercise scheduled to take place in 2022, where LANDCOM will also be a key participant.

The importance of the signal that LANDCOM sends to the region due to its continued efforts to enable Georgia land forces readiness was not on lost Lieutenant Colonel Tvauri.

“It’s a great message for our neighbors…that we are a strong partner of NATO, and in Georgia we have more NATO, and in NATO, more Georgia,” he said. "It’s a great message for our citizens as well. That our friends in the North Atlantic area are with us.”


Story by Public Affairs Office at LANDCOM


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