2015-02-24 U.S. Marines with the Second Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, a part of the Georgian Liaison Team, join forces with the 43rd Georgian Infantry Battalion during a Close Air Support Exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany.
Marines with the Georgian Liason Team participate in a Situational Training Exercise during a Mission Rehearsal Exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany.
The exercise is part of a month-long MRE to test capabilities of the 43RD Georgian Infantry Battalion before their deployment to Afghanistan.
And a look at the exercise through the day in the life of a Marine involved in the training exercise can be seen below.
A young motivated Marine infantry officer shows his dedication by volunteering to be a part of the Georgian Liaison Team to train and prepare Georgian soldiers before they deploy to Afghanistan.
The month-long Mission Rehearsal Exercise in Hohenfels, Germany is the final culminating training event for the 43rd Georgian Infantry Battalion before their deployment.
The Mission Rehearsal Exercise is part of the Georgia Deployment Program – Resolute Support Mission.
Credit: Marine Corps Security Cooperation Gorup
The Georgian and USMC working relationship has been built up over time during the Afghan operations.
For example, in a 2009 story written by Lance Cpl. Russell Midoroi:
The Republic of Georgia has offered up an infantry battalion to support the U.S. mission of bringing security to Afghanistan, and a Marine from Parris Island has stepped up to help train them.
Next week, one of the Depot’s own Weapons and Field Training Battalion Marines, Sgt. Michael Long, a combat marksmanship trainer, will become a member of a hand-selected Georgia Training Team.
The team will consist of about a dozen Marines. They’re tasked with the mission of developing a Georgian battalion capable of conducting counter-insurgency missions, said Gunnery Sgt. Antonio Foster, the Field Training Company operations chief. Foster, from Columbia, S.C., was one of the Marines who recommended Long for the job.
“He’ll be there for about six months supporting the Georgian Development Training Program,” Foster said.
The training program is scheduled to last about two years with training teams relieving each other after each 3- or 6-month period.
Marines and corpsmen will be selected from bases worldwide, however, Foster said it is unusual for Parris Island Marines to leave the Depot on international missions of any kind.
“It’s something that hasn’t happened too often in the past, but guys like Long are waiting for an opportunity like this,”
The team he will become a part of has no shortage of lessons planned for the troops, Long said.
“We’re going to teach them marksmanship, combat patrolling, IED-(improvised explosive device) detection and interrogation techniques,” Long explained. “We’ll show them how to set up vehicle checkpoints and entry checkpoints and how to search suspects,”
He said he has worked with foreign troops before in his career, and he feels confident in his ability to train the Georgians.
“I feel responsible for teaching them the right way of doing things,” said Long, from Akron, Ohio. “I know I can relate a lot of information to them from my own experiences.”
Before he begins working with troops in Georgia, he’ll go through about a week of preparation with the Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group in Fort Story, Va.
“We train advisory teams to deploy and work with host-nation security forces,” said Master Sgt. Brent Dorrough, the senior enlisted advisor
“We can build a team of anywhere from 10 to 190 people,” said Dorrough during a telephone interview. “We train them and deploy them to Africa, South America,
Europe – wherever.”
Dorrough, from Hogansville, Ga., said similar training done through MCTAG has been very effective for foreign troops in the past. The involvement of international militaries has helped to ease the burden of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
“Looking at the big picture — a battalion of Georgians fighting keeps a battalion of Marines at home,” he said.
“The Georgians are going to support a Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Afghanistan,” he explained. “In order for them to support our Marines, who better to train them than us?”
Dorrough said he is pleased to have a Parris Island Marine represented in his unit. The fact that trainers on the Depot know how to break information down to its simplest form will prove especially useful for training troops, who are new to the M-16 family
“The Georgians are going to learn the fundamentals,” Dorrough said. “We start with common skills to build a foundation.”
Though basic, the knowledge and exercises the advisory team passes on will be vital to the troops as they support the U.S.
“It’s going to be Marine Corps training,” he said. “The end product won’t be Marines, obviously, but we will give them the skills they need to occupy battle stations in Afghanistan,”
Long remains equally enthusiastic about the mission and confident he is up to the task, he said.
“I’ll do everything in my power to get their men ready for any tactical situation they might see,” he said. “Marines are going to be depending on the skills of Georgian soldiers, and I’m going to make sure they have nothing to
Or in this 2013 story by Master Sgt. Chad McMeen the training of Georgian soldiers with the Marines is explained:
TBILISI, Georgia —
Two battalions of soldiers from The Republic of Georgia stood side-by-side along with their U.S. Marine Corps counterparts in a departure ceremony hosted by the Georgian Ministry of Defense at the Vaziani Training Area Sept. 19, 2003.
Having completed six months of training, the 31st and Batumi battalions will now deploy to the Helmand Province of Afghanistan where they have been fighting shoulder to shoulder with U.S. Marines since 2009.
The training is officially known as The Georgian Deployment Program – ISAF (GDP-I) and formally concludes in 2014 but the Marines remain committed to a continued partnership.
“The GDP-ISAF program has grown over the years into one of the finest modern examples of how the Marine Corps can build a partner’s capacity through equipping, training, and advising,” said Col. Matt Baker, commanding officer at Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group located in Virginia Beach, Va. “The Georgian soldiers and U.S. Marines have worked exceptionally well together both in and out of combat; today, is a great day to celebrate the success’ of this program and the lasting partnership Marines have developed with our Georgian counterparts.”
During the ceremony the American Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland reminded the battalions of their importance to the region.
“Your contribution to ISAF will help stabilize a region that is a key part of the future of the global economy,” Norland said. “Afghanistan and Georgia both lie on the new silk road and as peace eventually returns to Afghanistan, the enormous commercial and investment opportunities that surround this entire region will be unleashed, and East and West will once again be linked by this historic trade corridor.”
This marks the 10th and 11th rotations of Georgian soldiers who have trained under the GDP-I program and according to LtCol. William Shannon, the training has been tailored to ensure mission success over the years based on feedback from previous training evolutions and as the mission in Afghanistan evolved.
Lieutenant General Richard Tryon, commander Marine Corps Forces Europe, reinforced the confidence in both the training and the ability of the Georgian battalions.
“The U.S. Marines and Georgian Armed Forces share the same warrior spirit. We have fought proudly side by side, sharing sacrifice and success since 2009,” Tryon said. “I have every confidence that you will upload the proud legacy of the Georgian Armed Forces, just as those who have deployed before you have done.”
The formal ceremony had all of the standard pomp and circumstance one would expect but also included elements which reminded everyone of the combat mission ahead for the Georgian troops.
A moment of silence for allied service members who have been wounded or killed in the Afghanistan war set the tone for the ceremony while award presentations for actions above and beyond the call of duty reminded everyone of the sacrifice ahead. The ceremony culminated with a blessing of the battalions by the unit chaplains and an inspirational message by Lt. Gen. Tryon.
“These troops are ready, they are trained, and they are absolutely prepared to undertake the mission ahead in Afghanistan,” Tryon said. “The Marines in Regional Command Southwest are proud to serve alongside their Georgian brothers.”