The U.S. and Georgia-led “Agile Spirit” military exercises were officially wrapped up at the Orpholo training area near Akhaltsikhe on August 9.
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili and Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze also attended the closing ceremony.
Addressing the participants of “Agile Spirit 2019,” Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria hailed the drills as “one of the large scale exercises in the history of defense forces.”
Izoria also stressed that the key message of the drills was “power is in partnership.”
“We all are happy about the approach NATO has, especially following the Warsaw Summit, to strengthen regional context in terms of ensuring the Black Sea security and stability,” the Defense Minister said.
President Salome Zurabishvili focused on NATO, as the path towards strengthening global peace and regional security.
“Georgia, as an independent, democratic country, is oriented to strengthening peace, peaceful solution of conflicts and development in the country. We will not step away from this path. Our path is the path, which is equally needed for Georgia and its international partners,” the President noted.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said that such drills make “Georgia’s NATO membership real and we are coming closer to the principle of seeing more NATO in Georgia and more Georgia in NATO.”
He noted that the exercises promoted strengthening of interoperability between the United States and partner countries, as well as maintaining of stable and safe environment in the Black Sea region.
Multinational “Agile Spirit” exercises were launched on July 27 and lasted for two weeks. Up to 3,300 troops from the NATO member and partner countries participated in the drills.
“Agile Spirit” is among the U.S. European Command-hosted exercises, which “focuses on peacekeeping, support operations and NATO response force operations in response to regional crises.”
Georgia hosts “Agile Spirit” drills since 2011, when the exercise started as a bilateral training for the U.S. and Georgian military. Since 2015 a number of other countries have joined in.