|Exercise Noble Partner 18 kicks off
VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Georgia -- More than 3000 participants from 13 allied and partner nations gathered here Aug. 1 for the opening
ceremony of Exercise Noble Partner18.
Noble Partner 2018 is a Georgian Armed Forces and U.S. Army Europe-led exercise in its forth iteration. The exercise is intended to
support and enhance Georgian, participating nations, regional partners and U.S. readiness and interoperability during a multinational
training operation. Noble Partner 2018 will be conducted at Vaziani and Camp Norio training areas in Georgia Aug. 1-15.
Countries involved in this year's exercise include the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Norway, Turkey,
Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
In attendance and guest speakers for today's ceremony were Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka
Bakhtadze, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze, Minister of Defence of Georgia Levan Izoria, Chief of General Staff
Maj. Gen. Vladimer Chachibaia, the U.S. Charge d'Affaires H.E. Elizabeth Rood and Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Joseph
Senior officials and leaders addressed the importance of the multinational exercise and partnership.
"Your participation in these exercises is a guarantee of stability and peace," 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 the partnerships between the nations, through these exercises, 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 Air National Guard from the state of Georgia as part of the state partnership program.
"This exercise [Noble Partner 18] offers an excellent opportunity for me to reaffirm the great value of Georgia and the United States' state of
Georgia national guard's security cooperation relationship now almost 25 years old," Lengyel said. "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 goes on to say, "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, Soldiers from 2nd Cavalry Regiment and German Bundeswehr
39th Panzergrenadierbataillon exited two Georgia Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to simulate air assault operations on
an notional objective.
"The US 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."