By Staff Sgt. R.J. Lannom Jr,August 8, 2018
VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Republic of Georgia - Militaries from four nations participated today in the first ever helicopter troop insertion exercise by Georgian Special Operation Forces at the Vaziani Training Area, Georgia on Aug.6, 2018. The exercise included the U.S. Army, U.S. Army National Guard, Ukrainian Infantry Marines and mechanized infantry from the German Bundeswehr.
This training evolution is one of many during Noble Partner 18. It is a Georgian and U.S. Army Europe-led exercise in its fourth iteration. The exercise is intended to support and enhance Georgian, participating nations, regional partners and U.S. readiness and interoperability during a multinational operation.
"We had a great training scenario today with the host nation of Georgia," said Georgia Army National Guardsman, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joseph J. McNamara, UH-60 pilot, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment, Marietta, Ga. "Along with the host nation of Georgia, we operated with Georgian Special Forces to conduct an infiltration and exfiltration of a high-value target."
Units from the German 391st Panzergrenadier Battalion and cavalry scouts from the Vilseck based Headquarters Company, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment secured the landing zone before four UH-60 Black Hawks inserted the Georgian Special Forces and Ukrainian Infantry Marines.
"Through combined arms cohesion of international units, we were able to operate together." said 1st Lt. Brad Staby, scout platoon leader, Headquarters, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
Noble Partner is crucial in that it provides leaders at all levels the opportunity to exercise their staffs in command and control, execution of combined planning and complex joint operations, maneuver mission planning and movement.
"Working in a multinational environment offers challenges," said McNamara. "But, with the host country doing a wonderful job of ensuring we have everything that we require to conduct our mission sets safely and effectively, they have been fantastic."
The joint exercise between the Georgia Guardsmen and the country of Georgia also marked the most complex military training they have performed together in their 24 years of working together under the U.S. National Guard's State Partnership Program.
The program, under the Department of Defense for security cooperation and global engagement, has 65 partnerships around the world to promote access, enhance military capabilities, improve interoperability and enhance the principles of responsible governance.
Noble Partner 18 continues with additional multinational training scenarios until closing ceremonies on Aug. 15.