VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Georgia —
More than 3,000 participants from 13 allied and partner nations gathered here yesterday for the opening ceremony of this year’s Exercise Noble Partner.
Noble Partner 2018, which runs until Aug. 15, is a Georgian armed forces and U.S. Army Europe-led exercise in its fourth iteration. It’s intended to support and enhance readiness and interoperability among forces of the United States and Georgia, and other participating nations and regional partners during a multinational training operation.
Countries involved in this year’s exercise include the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Senior officials and leaders addressed the importance of the multinational exercise and partnership during the opening ceremony.
“Your participation in these exercises is a guarantee of stability and peace,” Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said. “Today our unity, friendship and common aims are to protect peace, well-being and good health of our citizens. Your contribution to the strength of our states is colossal.”
He went on to say that through these exercises, the partnerships will advance Georgia’s defense capabilities and ensure security in the region.
This year the exercise supports the training of the Georgian armed forces’ mechanized and special operations forces, U.S. regionally aligned forces, the U.S. Army, and National Guardsmen from the state of Georgia as part of the State Partnership Program.
Valuable Security Cooperation Relationship
Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said this year’s Noble Partner exercise offers him an excellent opportunity to reaffirm the great value of the security cooperation relationship that has existed for almost 25 years between the nation of Georgia and the U.S. Georgia National Guard.
“This enduring partnership, based on mutual respect and common interests, has enhanced the capacities of our respective militaries and deepened our understanding and friendships between the U.S. and Georgia,” Lengyel said. “Our partnership has expanded to focus more on combat-centric readiness as demonstrated by exercises like this. This exercise should lead to a better understanding of how we exercise, how we operate and how we work together toward a greater security cooperation effort.”
To demonstrate interoperability, readiness, capabilities and partnership, U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and German Bundeswehr 39th Panzergrenadierbataillon exited two Georgia Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to simulate air assault operations on a notional objective.
“The U.S. is proud to be a strategic partner with Georgia and every nation present here at this exercise,” Lengyel said. “We look forward to continuing our commitment into the future.”