NATO Military Committee in Georgia to take stock of the implementation of Substantial NATO-Georgia Package
For the second time since 2014, the NATO Military Committee visited Georgia. During the two-day trip (2 & 3 March), NATO’s Military Representatives met with the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) team to receive a progress report, visited the Joint NATO-Georgia Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) and observed a pre-deployment training demonstration of Georgian troops. The Military Committee and its Chairman, General Petr Pavel, also visited the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL).
In a show of continued support to and appreciation of NATO’s close partner, the NATO military Committee has made its second visit to Georgia. The main objective of the visit was to discuss the progress of ongoing Defence reforms, especially with regard to the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) and its implementation. The package aims to strengthen Georgia’s capabilities by offering concrete support, advice and assistance in defence capacity building. The SNGP currently consists of 15 projects staffed by some 42 international experts from 26 NATO nations and partners. It covers areas of strategic and operational planning, ranging from air defence, maritime security, and special operations to more recent additions of counter-mobility and crisis management.
General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee and Mr Levan Izoria, Georgian Minister of Defence held a press conference to discuss the outcomes of their joint meeting and the meeting with the Military Committee. General Pavel commended Georgia for being “a valuable NATO Partner and a strong and reliable contributor to international security. I also want to highlight the professionalism and bravery of your troops”.
The NATO Military Committee also took the opportunity to visit the Joint NATO-Georgia Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) which is a key component of the SNGP. The Centre provides combat training and conducts activities to enhance interoperability between Georgian Forces and Armed Forces from NATO countries and partners. The Military Committee was able to observe a pre-deployment training demonstration by Georgian troops to be deployed to the NATO Resolute Support Mission. Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the assist, advice and train mission, a fact that was recognised by the Military Committee during the visit. While at the JTEC, General Petr Pavel and the 28 Military Representatives took a moment to honour the fallen heroes in international missions and peacekeeping operations.
During a special Military Committee meeting with Georgia, the Military Representatives received comprehensive briefings from Georgian counterparts on regional security, namely in the Black Sea, as well as Defence Reforms and the optimisation of the Georgian Armed Forces. The participants then discussed ways to enhance practical military-to-military cooperation. General Pavel highlighted during his Opening Remarks that “NATO views Georgia as an extremely reliable military partner and that our cooperation is characterized by open and honest dialogue. We encourage our Georgian colleagues to continue to maintain the high level of practical cooperation that is essential in sustaining our excellent relationship”.
Later, General Pavel and the NATO Military Committee laid a wreath at the Georgian Fallen Warrior Memorial to pay homage to the Georgian soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for shared peace and security.
On Friday afternoon, the 28 NATO Military Representatives were escorted to the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) where they received a briefing on the current situation. Earlier in the day, General Pavel reiterated that “NATO supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders and continues to call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions and to withdraw its forces from Georgia”.
While the Military Committee were visiting the Georgian National Defence College, General Pavel had a series of meetings with Georgian Officials, namely President Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Mr Giorgi Kviriskashvili, Minister of Defence Mr Levan Izoria and Chief of Defence Brigadier General Vladimer Chachibaia.