Georgia, NATO Launch Joint Military Exercise Near Tbilisi

Joint NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019 has officially kicked off at the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) in Krtsanisi near Tbilisi on March 18.

A brigade-level, computer assisted, command post exercise, will be held until March 29, and will involve 343 personnel from 21 NATO Allies and three partner nations, including Georgia as the host nation.

According to the Georgian Ministry of Defense, the exercise is designed to develop Georgia’s command and control capabilities, as well as the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and partner forces, and their ability to plan, coordinate and execute scenario-based military responses to humanitarian crises.

In her press remarks after the opening ceremony on March 18, Deputy Defense Minister Lela Chikovani said the exercise will strengthen Georgia’s defense capabilities, and “is not directed against any third country.”

“It will result in [Georgia’s] improved interoperability with NATO, will strengthen defense and deterrence policies, and will once again enhance [Georgia’s] partnership with NATO Allies and partners,” Chikovani noted.

Joint military exercises are one of the components of the the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) – a series of 15 defense capacity building measures agreed between Georgia and NATO at the Wales Summit in 2014.

This is the second NATO-Georgia exercise to take place within the SNGP framework. The first NATO-Georgia exercise was held in 2016 and involved 13 Allied and partner nations.

The exercise will be conducted by the Georgian General Staff together with the support of NATO Land Command, and directed by the Joint Training and Evaluation Center mentored by NATO Joint Force Training Center.

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