News: Georgian reps visit US as planning for Agile Spirit launches
Story by Lance Cpl. Marcin Platek
NEW ORLEANS – Fifteen members of Georgian Armed Forces visited the Marine Corps Support Facility here, Oct. 12-14, to plan Exercise Agile Spirit 2012.
Agile Spirit is a bilateral combined training exercise between Georgian Armed Forces and U.S. Marines and will be modeled after tasks the Georgian Armed forces are conducting in Afghanistan, said Georgian Lt. Col. Zaza Janjalia, head of the J3 department for Georgian Armed Forces.
“It’s a kick off exercise for Black Sea Rotational Force’s deployment that starts in March and is working in conjunction with Georgians, Romanians, Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis and others,” said Maj. Michael Patrick Wisner II, a Marine Forces Reserve officer tasked with regional operations, plans and policies for Marine Forces Europe.
This is the first time the planning took place in United States instead of Georgia.
The conference was split into six different topics: command and control, medical, force protection, logistics, operations and mobility. Different groups of Georgians and U.S. Marine officers worked on the different operational facets that involved their area of expertise.
Janjalia said the conference was productive as the group was able to decide on many details of the event like the specific locations and type of training that will occur.
The U.S. Marine side of Agile Spirit 2012 is going to be completely staffed by the Black Sea Rotational Force, which is a force consisting of almost 300 Marine Reservists.
Wisner said one function of BSRF’s mission is to develop foreign militaries’ to have the same leadership cadre and experiences as U.S. Forces during combined operations.
“The Georgians are specifically significant because we assist in training and deployment of two battalions of Georgians to the International Security Assistance Force,” Wisner said. “It’s a big deal for us to host a foreign countries’ military, and it’s a big deal for them to come over and participate in the Marine Corps planning process.”