‘Immediate Response’ Underway In Republic Of Georgia


Georgia National Guard
Defense Department Documents and Publications
July 15, 2008

About 300 Georgia National Guard Soldiers arrived in Tiblisi, Georgia,
Monday for Immediate Response 2008, a three-week international
exercise to help build relationships with coaliton partners from
several Eastern European nations.

Soldiers and Marines from the United States, Georgia, Azerbaijan,
Armenia, and Ukraine will conduct this joint training exercise at
Vaziani Military Base and the surrounding area. The annual, bilateral
security cooperation exercise is conducted between U.S. , NATO and
coalition partners, to focus on interoperability training and theater
security cooperation, officials said.

A seven-member team from the American Forces Network-Europe is also
in the Republic of Georgia conducting live radio programming and
radio/TV news coverage for the 1,000-plus U.S. troops, along with
allied servicemembers deployed to the training area. AFN-E deployed
its Tactical Mobile Radio and Television System to the exercise for
the third consecutive year.

The state of Georgia will be represented in the exercise by the 1st
Battalion, 121st Infantry, headquartered in Winder, Ga.

"This is a great opportunity not just to prepare for future missions
in Afghanistan, but to build the relationship our state has with the
country of Georgia," said Maj. Matthew Smith, commander of the 1st
Battalion, 121st Infantry. "I’ve really enjoyed working with soldiers
from the other Georgia as we’ve prepared for this exercise."

Highlights of the joint training exercise include marksmanship,
patrolling and combat lifesaving exercises. A day is devoted to
gathering sergeants together from the various countries to train
together on the particular challenges of being non-commissioned

"The training will be a great developmental opportunity for the
Republic of Georgia because they have a young NCO corps, and they
stand to learn a lot from our NCOs," Smith said.

"It’s also a great opportunity for our NCOs, because they’ll learn
how to work with foreign counterparts, and to learn the cultures
and customs of our allies," said Command Sgt. Maj. Calvin Wilcox,
1st Battalion, 121st Infantry.

The nation of Georgia has provided consistent support to coalition
Global War on Terrorism operations and is the third-largest force
contributor to Operation Iraqi Freedom, behind the U.S. and United