U.S. European Commander Visits Georgian Leaders and Launches Georgia Defense Readiness Program Training Initiative
Commander, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, during a two-day visit to Georgia this week, met with senior Georgian leaders to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Georgia's sovereignty and aspirations to become a member of NATO.
Commander, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, during a two-day visit to Georgia this week, met with senior Georgian leaders to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Georgia's sovereignty and aspirations to become a member of NATO.
1 photo: United States European Command Image
Photo 1 of 1: Commander, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, during a two-day visit to Georgia this week, met with senior Georgian leaders to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Georgia's sovereignty and aspirations to become a member of NATO. Download full-resolution version

STUTTGART, Germany – Commander, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti,
during a two-day visit to Georgia this week, met with senior Georgian leaders to reaffirm U.S. commitment to
Georgia's sovereignty and aspirations to become a member of NATO.


The main event during the visit, however, was the opportunity to participate in the launch and ribbon-cutting
ceremony for the Georgia Defense Readiness Program Training (GDRP-T) initiative.


“Georgia is a key strategic partner of the United States,” Scaparrotti said during the launch ceremony at the
Georgian Armed Forces Vaziani Military base May 18. “The United States and Georgia have a long history of
cooperation, and Georgia is an important friend, partner, and ally,” he said.


Remarks during the ceremony also were given by Georgian Minister of Defense Levan Izoria and Georgia’s
Chief of the General Staff Major General Vladimir Chachibaia. The national anthem for both countries was
performed by the Georgian Armed Forces band, troop formations from both the U.S. and Georgia were present
on the parade field where the ceremony took place, and following the ceremony the leaders toured a new training
barracks.


“A new era opens in Georgia,” Izoria said during his opening remarks. “U.S. cooperation in the long-term
perspective will enhance and strengthen defense capabilities of our country, as well as the security of our
citizens,” he added.


Scaparrotti echoed the comments by adding that the GDRP-T is the beginning of a new era of partnership with
Georgia with the launch of the GDRP training element.


“Bilateral programs such as the GDRP demonstrate that proven partnerships are built upon shared values,
experiences and visions,” Scaparrotti said. “This GDRP training program contributes to the security of the
Black Sea region, and thus, the stability of the greater European security environment.”


The GDRP-T is part of the steadfast commitment between the two countries to improve Georgia’s combat
readiness and to further develop a self-sustaining institutional capacity to man, train and equip a force prepared
to accomplish assigned national missions.


During remarks Scaparrotti also emphasized Georgia's contributions globally, including sending service
members to Iraq and Afghanistan.


"Throughout the last seven years, Georgia has deployed more than 13,000 soldiers in support of the NATO
International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan; and more than 7,800
Georgian soldiers have previously deployed to Iraq," he said.

Scaparrotti also commended Georgia for their NATO contributions, identifying Georgia as the "largest non-
NATO force contributor alongside U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan,” and as having “provided more

troops per-capita than any other country in the world."
U.S. Army Europe will take the lead in supporting the Georgian Ministry of Defense’s training of nine
Georgian battalions over the next three years. During the training program, the Georgian Armed Forces will
maintain and complement an already high-level of training and readiness for its international missions. The
GDRP training mission will add to Georgia’s interoperability, as well as strengthen the country’s territorial
defense capabilities.

Prior to the ceremony Scaparrotti took time to meet individually with Minister Izoria, Georgian Prime Minister
Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. Each spoke about a variety of topics of
mutual interest mainly focusing on the need for continued efforts to deter Russia, continued enhanced
partnerships through the GDRP-T and other programs, commitment to shared western, democratic values, and
support for Georgia’s goals in NATO membership.

"The United States is proud to support Georgia, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to this
country in the future,” Scaparrotti said.

For more information about U.S. European Command visit https://www.eucom.mil.

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U.S. European Command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands whose area of
focus spans across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The command
is comprised of more than 60,000 military and civilian personnel and is responsible for U.S. defense operations,
relations with NATO and 51 countries. For more information about U.S. European Command, visit
http://www.eucom.mil/.

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