Tbilisi, DFWatch – Joint Georgian-American-UK military exercise Noble Partner 2016 was finalized on Tuesday with tanks firing and helicopters simulating battlefield rescue of the wounded soldiers in Vaziani field, near Tbilisi.
Georgian, British and American soldiers participated in the closing of the exercise attended by Minister Tina Khidasheli, Joint Staff Head Vakhtang Kapanadze, US Ambassador Yan Kelly, Lt. General Ben Hodges US Army Europe Commander, and Michael Carpenter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.
Noble Partner was held for the second time in Georgia and lasted 14 days.
“Noble Partner is truly a noble partnership between countries on the both sides of the Atlantic who are united in the common cause of peace and security,” Ambassador Kelly said.
Minister Tina Khidasheli stressed Georgia’s progress on the way to NATO integration remarking that it was important having Georgian soldiers engaged in the exercise.
1300 soldiers participated in Noble Partner 2016: 650 – from the US, 500 – from Georgia and 150 from the UK. The excersizes featured US soldiers assigned to 3rd Infantry Division, paratroopers assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Georgian soldiers assigned to 4th Armor Brigade and UK soldiers from the 3d Rifles.
American M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles took part in the drills, alongside with Soviet T-72 Main Battle Tanks and BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicles operated by Georgian Army.