About 1300 NATO and Republic of Georgia troops are currently executing Exercise Noble Partner 16 at Vaziani Training Area,Georgia.It is the largest exercise in the history of NATO Partner Georgia,which aspires to NATO membership.Having begun on 11 May,the two weeks of drills involve qualifying a Georgia light infantry company from 4th Armoured Brigade for the NATO Response Force,as well as enhancing Georgia's self-defence capability.The Brigade will operate T-72 Main Battle Tanks;BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicles;and several wheeled-support vehicles,US Army Europe said.
One of the overarching goals of the NRF is to ensure the ability of a rapid military force to respond quickly wherever needed whenever a security crisis emerges,according to Nicholas Berliner,US Embassy Georgia Deputy Chief of Mission.The NRF is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force that can include NATO Partners such as Georgia in addition to Allies,with both land,air,maritime and Special Operations Forces components.*
In addition to the Georgian contingent of around 500 troops,the US Army is contributing about 650 troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade,as well as 3rd Infantry Division,the Georgia State Army National Guard and Air National Guard 165 Airlift Wing with 3 C-130 Hercules aircraft;while The UK has sent some 150 soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Rifles.
3 Rifles are a fully operational Light Role Infantry Battalion available for deployment worldwide from Dreghan Barracks in Edinburgh,Scotland.They are currently the spearhead Battalion of 12 Mechanised Brigade,tasked to deploy at short notice to trouble spots around the world such as Lebanon,the British Army said.*
The US infantry is operating their M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks;Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles;M119 Light Towed Howitzers;and several wheeled-support vehicles during Noble Partner 16.The exercise will include situational training;field training;and a final live-fire drill.*
We will accomplish a lot and we are looking forward to truly demonstrating interoperability between our forces,and we are looking forward to continuing to improve the readiness of our organisations,according to Colonel Jeff Dickerson,US Army,Deputy Exercise Director.*