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    U.S. servicemen walk past U.S. M1A2 Abrams tanks as they arrive for the joint U.S.-Georgian exercise Noble Partner 2016 in Vaziani, Georgia, May 5, 2016

    NATO Response Force Unit to Be Deployed to Georgia - MoD

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    According to Georgian Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli, the first official NATO unit will be deployed to Georgia following the current US-Georgia Noble Partner 2016 joint military exercises.

    TBILISI (Sputnik) — The first official NATO Response Force (NRF) unit will be deployed to Georgia following the US-Georgia Noble Partner 2016 joint military exercises currently underway in the country, Georgian Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli said Wednesday.

    The drills are underway on May 11-26 at Georgia’s Vaziani Air Base, 12 miles from Tbilisi. They are aimed at enhancing US and Georgian interoperability within the NATO Response Force, which is a high readiness force established in 2003 to respond to emerging security situations.

    "After ending the drills, the first certified NATO Response Force unit will be deployed to Georgia. It will be the first official NATO unit in Georgia with NATO stripes," Khidasheli said adding that Georgia will surely become a NATO member.

    According to the minister, the Noble Partner 2016 drills are the largest military exercises, having ever conducted in Georgia and the US military hardware and tanks are presented for the first time. Khidasheli noted that the Georgian military had received a good opportunity to obtain a professional experience in the work with this hardware, which is broadly exploited by NATO.

    The exercise will bring together 500 Georgian and 650 US service members as well as 150 UK military personnel. It will feature a full range of equipment, from US Abrams tanks and Bradley infantry vehicles to M119 howitzers to Georgia’s T-72 tanks and BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles.

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    military drills, military exercises, NATO, United States, Georgia
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