U.S., Georgia Start Joint Drills Near Tbilisi


RIA Novosti
July 15 2008

A joint Georgian-U.S. military exercise, Immediate Response 2008, has
started near Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, and will continue throughout
July, the Georgian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

A total of 1,650 personnel, including troops from Armenia, Azerbaijan
and Ukraine, are taking part in the $8 million exercise, planned by
the U.S. Armed Forces European Command and financed by the U.S. Defense

U.S. and Georgian forces started force protection training in
preparation for the exercise last Monday.

Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe’s 18th Military Police Brigade and 21st
Theater Sustainment Command and Georgian soldiers from the 4th Infantry
Brigade continued to develop working relationships as they learned
to conduct personnel and vehicle searches at an entrance control point.

"We are responsible for force protection," said Army Capt. David
Morishuili, a Georgian security officer. "We needed to learn how the
U.S. Army conducts force protection operations so we can better work
together in Iraq."

The Georgian military currently has units conducting operations in
Iraq along with U.S. and other coalition forces. The Georgian 4th
Brigade is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in the near future.