Just over 7 days ago, US forces just left the Air Base that is reporting to have been attacked by Russian Federation Air Force Assets. Here is more information on it from the US European Command News Web page:
VAZIANI TRAINING AREA , Republic of Georgia -- Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen from the U.S., Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine participated in training exercise Immediate Response 2008. At the closing ceremony, Army Brig. Gen. William B. Garrett III, exercise director for Immediate Response stated, "I am very pleased to report that all exercise objectives have been met." Garrett highlighted the hundreds of live-fire and situational training exercises; combat lifesaver classes; Improvised Explosive Device training; and the computer-based command post exercise to train the Georgian 4th Infantry brigade staff, as some of the objectives.
What is it?
Immediate Response 08 (IR08) was an annual bilateral security-cooperation exercise conducted between the U.S. and NATO and coalition partners. This year, IR08 is being conducted in the Republic of Georgia. The participants are the United States, the Republic of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Ukraine. The purpose of the exercise is to increase the cooperation and partnership between U.S. and Georgian forces while preparing the Georgian military for operations in Iraq.
What has the Army done?
Approximately 1,000 personnel from U.S. Army Europe’s Southern European Task Force, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, the state of Georgia Army National Guard, Army Reserve, U.S. Marine Reserve, Sailors and Airmen trained alongside 600 Soldiers from Georgia and other European nations. IR08 builds on lessons learned from previous training and operations by giving commanders and their staffs a practical exercise in organizing, controlling, and supporting coalition stability and security operations. The two-week exercise included a command post exercise, situational training lanes and a live-fire exercise. The Azerbaijani, Armenian and Ukrainian participants replicated a coalition response cell similar to that which the Georgians will experience in Iraq. After a surprise visit to the exercise, the Georgian President stated, "we have the best trained and equipped army" in the Caucasus region. For the Georgians, IR08 provided them the knowledge that they are ready for the challenge of their upcoming deployment to Iraq in early 2009.
Why is this important to the Army?
The Republic of Georgia, with approximately 2,000 Soldiers currently in Iraq, is the third largest force contributor to Operation Iraqi Freedom. IR08 provided a mission rehearsal exercise-like experience for the Georgian 4th Brigade in preparation for their deployment in early 2009. Likewise, IR08 improved the readiness of the Georgian Army National Guard participants who are also preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. Exercises such as IR08 promote understanding and cooperation between the military of the U.S. and our allies and coalition partners and prepare all participants for combat operations.
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