(Tbilisi, July 10, Civil Georgia) – Parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security discussed the issue of implementation of the US funded Georgia Train-and-Equip Program (GTEP) at the meeting on July 10.
The Parliamentary Committee criticized the Defense Ministry for the volunteer shortage that will undergo Commando Battalion training by the US military trainers. So far the Defense Ministry has subscribed only 99 soldiers, while at least 300 soldiers are needed for the moment.
Irakli Batiashvili, Chairman of the Committee on Defense and Security criticized the Defense Ministry for not providing the Parliament with the full coverage on implementation of GTEP and the Parliamentarians learn about the shortage from the media reports.
Joni Pirtskhalaishvili, Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces stated that the situation is not critical as the reports and MPs say. The GTEP is implemented as scheduled, Pirtskhalaishvili added.
Thomas W. Newcomb, the US military attach? to Georgia, also said that the Georgian Defense Ministry constantly reports on implementation of the program and the US has no complains so far.
II Phase of GTEP, which is staff training, will be over on August 2 and the III phase will start on August 27.