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MINISTRY OF DEFENCE OF GEORGIA PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT OCTOBER 2010 ISSUE #40

NATO CMC visiting MoD


Chairman of the NATO Mil- to Georgia for what it is doing thanks to the Georgian side for
itary Committee (CMC) Admi- with the Alliance in Afghanistan. its engagement in the ISAF op-
ral Giampaolo Di Paola paid an Contribution your country is pro- eration. NATO military repre-
official visit to Georgia. viding in ISAF is very signifi- sentatives reiterated that the Bu-
NATO top military official vis- cant. I want to pay respect to charest decision about the Geor-
ited Ministry of Defence on Oc- those brave Georgian soldiers gia’s NATO integration remains
tober 28 where he was hosted by who lost their lives recently. in force and that Georgia will
the Chief of Joint Staff of GAF Georgian contribution in Af- inevitably become a member of
Major-General Devi Chanko- ghanistan is very relevant. When the Alliance”, declared Mr.
tadze. Admiral also met with we compare your contribution to Kharshiladze.
Defence Minister Bacho Akhala- the size of your country and the Meetings were also organized
ia. At the meeting Minister ex- size of your Armed Forces, you with JS officers and MoD civil
pressed gratitude towards the must be proud because it is sig- personnel. Themes of discussion
Alliance for its contribution pro- nificant in any sense by quanti- at the roundtable meeting includ-
vided in the GAF’s development ty, by quality for the area where ed NATO-Georgia partnership
process. In the course of the meet- you operate. I reconfirm that we and existing challenges in the
ing, the participants dealt with will continue through the mech- military operations.
ongoing NATO-Georgia relations anism of Georgia-NATO com- In the framework of the visit
and future prospects of coopera- mission to work together for im- NATO CMC also met with the
tion. The sides also referred to the proving the interoperability and Parliament Speaker Davit
significance of Georgia’s involve- the defence reforms of the Bakradze, Deputy State Minis-

Ukrainian Defence Minister ment in the Afghanistan peace-


keeping operation and the re-
forms being developed in the
Armed forces”, stated NATO
Admiral. Giampaolo Di Paola
reaffirmed the NATO`s support
ter on European and Euro-Atlan-
tic Integration Elene Khoshtaria
and Deputy Secretary of Nation-
national defence sphere. towards Georgia. al Security Council Irakli Porch-

pays a visit to MoD After the meeting Giampao-


lo Di Paola underlined that his
current visit in Georgia is anoth-
According to the Deputy De-
fence Minister Nodar Kharshi-
ladze, the reforms ongoing in the
khidze. Tomorrow NATO dele-
gation will visit “Krtsanisi” Na-
tional Training Center and Tbili-
The Ukrainian Minister of officials answered questions forms in the two states’ armed er demonstration of partnership field of defence were given a si-based NATO Liaison Office.
Defense, Mykhailo Yezhel has from journalists from Georgia forces, and military-technical co- between the Alliance and Geor- high appreciation. “NATO dele- Admiral left Georgia on the 30th
paid an official visit to Georgia. and abroad. operation. As another sign of bi- gia. “It is also a way to say thanks gation expressed their special of October.
The Georgian Defense Minister, While meeting with the me- lateral partnership, the Georgian
Bacho Akhalaia received his dia of both countries, Mr. Akhala- and Ukrainian militaries partici-
Ukrainian colleague at an official ia underscored the significance of pated in the joint military exer-
welcoming ceremony at the De- the friendship between Georgia cises Blackseafor and Seabreaze.
fense Ministry on Wednesday, and Ukraine. “The prospects for What’s more, officers and mili-
November 3. Georgian-Ukrainian partnership tary subunits from both our coun-
Following the ceremony, the are quite promising. At the to- tries have had the opportunity to
Defense Ministers of the two day’s meeting, we focused on re- train together in both Ukraine and
countries held a personal meet- forms at the Georgian MoD. At Georgia”.
ing, in which the participants the current phase of our relation- Within the framework of the
dealt with issues relating to bilat- ship we confined our discussions official two-day visit to Georgia,
eral collaboration in the field of to sharing our experience with our the top Ukrainian defense official
defense. Discussions also took Ukrainian colleagues. I should also visited the Vaziani military
place on the importance of Geor- note that we attach a great deal of base, and laid flowers on the me-
gia’s involvement in the Afghan- importance to current and future morial to soldiers killed in the
istan peacekeeping operation and cooperation with Ukraine. At the fight for the territorial integrity of
ongoing defense reforms. After meeting, we also drew attention Georgia. He will also visit the
the closed door meeting, mem- to reforms in the education sys- monument to Taras Shevchenko
bers of the Ukrainian delegation tem and shared our expertise in to pay tribute to the memory of
and representatives of the Geor- this regard too. During these two the famous Ukrainian poet.
gian Ministry of Defense held ne- days, we will have the opportu- Meetings will be also arranged
gotiations plans for future partner- nity to discuss the full range of with the Georgian Foreign Min-
ship. Furthermore, a Bilateral education-related issues”, he de- ister, Grigol Vashadze and the
Cooperation Plan for 2011 was clared. Deputy Secretary of the National
signed between the two Defense After the meeting, Mykhailo Security Council, Levan Duchi-
Ministries. Yezhel also spoke to journalists, dze.
Following the meeting, the saying: “we spoke about issues of Mykhailo Yezhel left Georgia
senior Georgian and Ukrainian common interest, regarding re- on November 4, 2010.

INSIDE

Committee Session Afghanistan:


Franco-Georgian
NATO Delegation visits Event for the Benefit
Krtsanisi National
of Children in Shinah
Training Center
Visit by American
Military Attachés Generals
visit the National
Training Center New Church Opened
2 MONTHLY SUPPLEMENT OF GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 2010 ISSUE #40

Committee Session NATO Committee chair visits


National Training Center
The Chairman of the NATO Military servicemen are providing to the inter-
Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Pa- national community in Afghanistan.
ola, as part of his official visit to Geor- Also, I am very regretful for the human
gia, made a tour of the Krtsanisi National loss your contingent has recently suf-
Training Center. He came to see the forc- fered. You have brave and professional
es of the 33rd Battalion of the III Infan- soldiers who are successfully perform-
try Brigade who will to rotate (in six ing the duties entrusted to them in such
months) with the 32nd Battalion who a difficult region as South Afghanistan.
have recently been deployed to Afghan- As for NATO-Georgia cooperation, it is
istan. The top NATO official also visit- developing and strengthening in the
ed the Simulation Training Center locat- right way. The purpose of my visit here
ed at the base and attended a demon- is to foster the further development of
strative trainings. mutual partnership”.
While inspecting the National Train- Deputy Minister Nodar Kharshiladze
ing Center, the NATO CMC was accom- also spoke about Admiral De Paola’s
panied by the leadership of the Minis- positive evaluation of the morale and
try of Defense leadership including Dep- level of preparedness demonstrated by
uty Defense Minister, Nodar Khar- Georgian soldiers. “The NATO CMC
shiladze; Joint Chief of Staff of the once again extended his gratitude to the
Georgian Armed Forces, Major-Gener- Georgian side for its involvement in the
al Devi Chankotadze; and the Com- international security operation. He re-
mander for Trainings and Military Edu- affirmed the active partnership between
cation, Colonel Nikoloz Janjgava. the alliance and Georgia and stated that
Following the meeting, the Admiral Georgia’s integration into NATO is only
expressed his satisfaction with the sol- a matter of time”, declared the Deputy
diers’ level of preparedness: “I had a Minister.
On October 28, an open door session Georgian Armed Forces and its active will consist of 45 days.
very interesting day. I liked the center The same day the NATO Admiral
of the Parliamentary Committee on De- brigades. Moreover, Battalions will train “Georgia has a good contingent of
very much. I can see how intensively visited the newly established NATO Li-
fense and Security was held at Vaziani reservists on their own, which will bring 100 to 150 thousand citizens who can
your military are preparing before their aison Office based in Tbilisi and held a
military base. Members of Parliament tangible results in terms of improved be called up in reserve service through
departure to Afghanistan. I would like meeting with the head of Office, Zbig-
were able to hear from the Minister of preparation levels” stated Minister of the new system. This is more than
to say thanks for the contribution your niew Rybacki.
Defense first-hand on new initiatives Defense, Bacho Akhalaia. enough. Today, with our existing infra-
with regard to reserve forces, the Na- The chairman of the committee, Givi structure and resources, we can’t afford
tional Guard and civil defense. At the Targamadze also discussed the issue: to train so many reservists. That’s why
meeting, a decision was made for depu- “Today, the main subject for discussion this [new initiative] will be implement-
ties, the Ministry of Defense and Secu- was the establishment of a new reserve ed on a stage-by-stage basis. The major
rity Council personnel to start working system. We learned serious lessons af- change will be that the preparation of
together a new proposal for changes in ter the war and underwent intensive con- reservists will be carried out by the Land
the operation of reserve forces. Under sultations on this issue. The consulta- Forces instead of the National Guard.
the new initiative, two types of reserve tions are practically over and we have Active units will integrate the reserve
forces are to be formed: The first group already tested a pilot version of the con- units and provide for their training as
will be developed by military officials cept. One flow of reservists has already well. As for the National Guard, it will
from the Army and will function as army successfully passed reserve training assume new functions. The National
reserves. The second will be prepared a through the new system and it has helped Guard will be responsible for the estab-
new department which will be created us a lot. Despite the fact that we have lishment of a civil defense system,
as a result of the transformation of the already made various amendments that something that we do not currently pos-
current National Guard and will work had begun some time beforehand and it sess. The National Guard will support
towards providing civil defense. The was initially planned to introduce a new the Georgian Armed Forces as a rear ser-
new entity will be responsible for the law, we have decided to implement the vice. So first, we need to create an in-
management of emergency situations program within the framework of exist- frastructure for civil defense, it must be
and territorial-logistics issues. ing legislation.” able to provide security for ordinary cit-
“The National Guard Department According to Mr. Targamadze, the izens in times of crisis. In this case, some
must be equipped to perform functions focus now will be on those citizens of legislative amendments will be needed,”
of civil defense. This means that we will Georgia who have already passed mili- declared the committee chairman.
have a Civil Defense Department as tary service in any form, including po- The participants in the meeting
opposed to the previous Guard Com- lice forces and border guard. They will agreed that a joint working group will
mand. The military reserve system, be conscripted to the army reserve, i.e. be set up consisting of representatives
which was previously coordinated by the active reserve, and will undergo the from the Ministry of Defense, the Secu-
the Guard Department, is now being necessary training. The course will last rity Council and the Parliamentary Com-
controlled by the Land Forces of the for two weeks but the complete course mittee on Defense and Security.

NATO Delegation visits Krtsanisi National Training Center


On October 22, a NATO delegation demonstrate how important our relation-
visited Krtsanisi National Training Cen- ship with Georgia is. Not just on paper
ter. The representatives from a number but in real life, we have a very good
of NATO member-states were visiting framework for cooperation [with Geor-
Georgia as part of NATO Week and were gia]. I believe that Georgia has all the
hosted by Deputy Defense Minister, necessary tools to be ready for member-
Nodar Kharshiladze and the Command- ship. But it’s not just a technical task,
er of Trainings and Military Education it’s a political question, and when the
of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed time comes there will be political deci-
Forces, Colonel Nikoloz Janjgava. The sion on membership,” Linkevicius ex-
Georgian Deputy Minister for Europe- plained.
an and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Helen Nodar Karshiladze, Deputy Defense
Khoshtaria accompanied the delegation Minister also spoke about the visit: “We
to the Center. had an opportunity to exchange infor-
The delegation was composed of mation before the Lisbon Summit and
NATO Ambassadors from Lithuania - to discuss expectations regarding Geor-
Linas Linkevicius, Latvia - Janis Eich- gia’s integration into NATO. The cur-
manis, and Estonia - Jüri Luik in addi- rent reforms in the sphere of defense
tion to the Deputy Ambassador of the have been very positively evaluated.
United States to NATO, John Heffern. After the visit to Krtsanisi Training Cen-
The visitors toured the new simulation ter, the NATO ambassadors expressed
center at the base and received informa- their satisfaction with the Georgian sol-
tion about the ongoing reforms in mili- diers’ level of preparedness and their
tary education in Georgia, as well as appreciation for our participation in the
learning about the training programs and ISAF operation.”
ongoing exercises at the Training Cen- The delegation visited Georgia as
ter. Linas Linkevicius, Lithuanian part of NATO Week. The representatives
NATO Ambassador told journalists that also met with the State Minister for Re-
he had found the visit very interesting: integration, Temur Iakobashivili, Geor-
“We came during final preparations for gian academics, a number NGOs and
the [forthcoming NATO] summit to representatives of ethnic minorities.
OCTOBER 2010 ISSUE #40 MONTHLY SUPPLEMENT OF GEORGIA TODAY
3

Georgian Peacekeeping Mission in Afghanistan


Afghanistan: Franco-Georgian Event for the Benefit of Children in Shinah
Georgia fully acknowledges the importance of the ISAF mission and continues to contribute to the most On September 22, 2010 at Shinah, have included the distribution of
important mission in the history of the alliance. Georgia continues to send its professionally trained soldiers to a small village south of the Warehouse blankets, mattresses and other neces-
the mission, and now has up to 950 servicemen in the ISAF with 750 soldiers operating under the US Marine French military base, a detachment of sities.
Corps in Helmand province and one company under French command in Kabul. This year has been very French and Georgian soldiers distrib- The Georgian military contingent
uted school supplies, toys and sweets has been part of the coalition since
difficult and challenging for NATO and for Georgia itself.
to young girls at the village school. November 2009. Its infantry compa-
One of the important issues in the ISAF operation is the new strategy, which was created several months ago. The event was made possible ny has worked with French units to
The Georgian contingent is not an exception to the overall goal of the mission and continues to work towards the through the generosity of a French ele- fully ensure the safety of the French
ISAF strategy’s key principle: to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. mentary school located in Ochey, near camp, Warehouse. The mission of the
Nancy. When the director of the school Georgian soldiers is to ensure the
looked at the problems facing the Af- control and filtering of all incoming
ghan education system, they encour- and outgoing personnel and vehicles
aged their pupils to collect school sup- at the base. The company also works
plies and sent them to Afghan children, on internal security and participates
accompanied by students’ drawings. in the Quick Reaction Force (QRF).
The Georgian military detachment, Equipped with French armored vehi-
in together with the French Command cles, it conducts daily patrols around
Warehouse (COMSITE) organized the the camp and helps to establish con-
event, the latest in a series of measures tacts with the local population.
to assist the local population which Source: Ministry of Defence of France

Maj. Kartlos Kraveishvili, a medical officer with the 31st Georgian Georgian soldiers with Company B, 31st Georgian Battalion, An Afghan elder brings bread to Georgian soldiers from Company A,
Battalion, and Navy Chief Michael Gandy, an independent-duty Regimental Combat Team 2, speak with a local Afghan elder during a 31st Georgian Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 2, and other
corpsman from Regimental Combat Team 2, provide aid for a young joint-patrol to his village in Farah province, July 22. Speaking with the Afghans during a shura in the Farah province, July 22. Over a local
Afghan girl with a broken arm during their brief pause from patrolling local Afghans, the soldiers of Company B soon learned this area Afghan meal, regional leaders, elders and Georgian officers
through villages in Golestan. Operating alongside Afghan National rarely receives any outside visitors. “No one has ever come here for discussed different ways to improve the security and economic
Police, soldiers and officers of Company A, 31st Battalion, Georgian 35 years. Not even the Russians,” said Naqib, a local villager, through situation throughout the province. (By Thomas Dworzak)
Army, visited a series of villages gathering information about the an interpreter. Mistaken for Russian soldiers in the past, the Georgian
needs of the villagers and the security situation during Operation Iron soldiers emphasized they were not Russians, and were there to help
Horse. Kraveishvili examined patients during the visits, providing the and learn as much as possible about the local security situation and
most necessary help: medical aid. (By Thomas Dworzak) needs of their village. After meeting with the local elders, the soldiers
distributed toys, and their company medic examined some of the
villagers, providing medical care to those in need. (Photo by: Thomas
Dworzak)

Georgian Minister of Defense Bacho Akhalaia gathers with the 31st


Georgian Battalion aboard Camp Delaram II, during his visit to the
(From left to right) Lt. Col. Steven Grass, Regimental Combat Team 2
camp, June 14. Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, 1st Marine Division
executive officer, 1st Sgt. Jeffrey Beegle, RCT-2 headquarters
(FWD) commanding general, was also in attendance. While the
company first sergeant, Col. Ebdulahai Neshat, executive officer of
minister and his entourage were aboard the camp, they received a
Sgt. IIia Makhatadze, a combat medic with Company B, 31st Georgian 2nd Brigade, 215 Corps, Afghan National Army, and Lt. Col. Lasha
brief from both the Georgian staff as well as Col. Paul Kennedy,
Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 2, administers eye drops to a Beridze, senior national representative, Georgian Army, International
Regimental Combat Team 2 commanding officer. The brief touched on
local Afghan elder during a visit to his village in Farah province, July Joint Command, stand before the memorial site of four Georgian
topics concerning the logistics of the Georgian unit as well plans for
22. Operating in the sparsely populated areas located throughout soldiers from 31st Georgian Battalion who died during recent combat
future implementation of the Georgian battalion throughout RCT-2’s
eastern Farah province, the soldiers from Company B continue to operations in Helmand province, Oct. 7. The four soldiers were
battle space. For the first time, a Georgian battalion is working
foster positive relationships with the local Afghans in order to assist patrolling alongside Afghan National Army forces during an operation
alongside a Marine regimental combat team. Through the combined
the Afghan government in bringing essential civil services such as conducted in southern Musa Qal’eh. During the ceremony, service
efforts of two NATO forces working for a common goal, the
medical care and security to the people of Farah. (Photo by: Thomas members from RCT-2 headquarters, 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps and the
Georgians, along with RCT-2, plan to leave a positive impact in the
Dworzak) 31st Georgian Bn., came to show their respect.
Helmand province.
4 MONTHLY SUPPLEMENT OF GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 2010 ISSUE #40

Visit by American Generals Students and Pupils visit the


A delegation of American officers preciation for the Country’s contribu-
has been briefed on the ongoing reforms
in the Georgian Armed Forces. The
group of seventeen newly-selected Gen-
tion.
Visit took place within the frame-
work of the U.S. DoD CAPSTONE pro-
Krtsanisi National Training Center
erals and Flag Officers led by retired gram, which fulfills the statutory re-
General (4 star) Thomas Morgan, visit- quirements of the DoD Reorganization
ed the Georgian Ministry of Defense on Act of 1986 which supports the profes-
October 27. The U.S. delegation was sional military education of officers se-
hosted by the Joint Chief of Staff of the lected for promotion to the rank of Gen-
Georgian Armed Forces, Major-Gener- eral or Flag officer. Specifically, the
al Devi Chankotadze and Deputy De- objective of the program is to make new-
fense Minister, Nodar Kharshiladze. At ly selected Generals and Flag officers
the meeting the participants discussed more effective in planning and employ-
current reforms in the Georgian Armed ing US forces in Unified, Joint and Mul-
Forces, Georgia’s foreign and security tinational operations, and more knowl-
policy objectives, and how Georgia con- edgeable of when and how these opera-
tributes to providing stability in the tions support national strategy and pol-
world. The U.S. Generals gave a posi- icy. Program participants frequently visit
tive assessment of Georgia’s participa- various countries in order to get to know
tion in counterterrorism and peacekeep- to their defense systems. The U.S. dele-
ing operations, and expressed their ap- gation left Georgia on October 28.

University students and high school also learnt about Georgia’s partnership structure and the overall situation at the
pupils from the 11th grade had the op- with NATO”, declared the Deputy Min- training center. Deputy Minister, Nodar
portunity to become acquainted with the ister. Kharshiladze and the Minister for Re-
daily life of soldiers at the Krtsanisi Temur Iakobashvili did not hesitate integration, Temur Iakobashvili met the
National Training Center. They spent a to express his satisfaction with the meet- young people on behalf of the Ministry,
full three days at the Center as part of a ing: “the meeting was a great success. I and answered all their questions. I hope
project implemented by the Ministry of was quite surprised at the well thought- they all obtained information of inter-
Military Attaches visit the Defense and the Information Center on
NATO.
out questions asked by the young guests.
Their interest towards issues of common
est”, stated Gogotishvili.
One of the project’s participants,
Instructors led practical and theoret- concern is great. It is good that the youth Nodar Khutsishvili talked to Defense
National Training Center ical exercises for the visitors and taught
them about the structure of the Georgian
are so actively engaged in all these pro-
cesses. I think that similar projects
Today about the visit: “for me, as an or-
dinary citizen, it is crucial to know what
Military Attaches accredited to Geor- isfaction with the situation on the armed forces and a range of armaments should continue to be implemented”. is currently happening in the Georgian
gia have taken a tour of the Krtsanisi ground. I hope that this visit will be one systems. Older participants were also The project’s co-organizer, the Head army. It was interesting to be able to
National Training Center with Deputy more step towards deepening bilateral able to take part in practical exercises. of the Information Center on NATO, become familiar with the daily activi-
Defense Minister, Nodar Kharshiladze cooperation”, declared Kharshiladze. Participants in the project were met Tengiz Gogotishvili believes that the ties of soldiers. What we have seen on
hosting the foreign delegation. The dip- At the end of the visit, the attaches by Deputy Defense Minister, Nodar implementation of more projects such site exceeded our expectations. I hope
lomats inspected infrastructure and ar- competed with each other on the firing Kharshiladze and the Minister for Re- as this would be very useful for the that projects of a similar type will be
maments at the institution as well visit- range practicing with the M4 automatic integration, Temur Iakobashvili who ex- younger generation. “Under the joint implemented again, and that other peo-
ed its Simulation Center. Military At- rifle. The US Military Attaché, John plained to them the ongoing defense re- project implemented by the Ministry of ple will also have the opportunity to
taches also had the opportunity to be- Thurman succeeded in beating tight forms. “The young people had the op- Defense and the Information Center on learn about the modernization process
come familiarized with reforms to mili- competition to win the contest. Second portunity to become familiar with the NATO, the students underwent a three- in the Georgian army.
tary education. and third places were awarded to Lithua- living conditions of the military, and the day training course. The MoD did its The students and pupils who partici-
“Today, we had an opportunity to get nian Diplomat, LTC Virginijus Vilkelis training programs and technologies that best to introduce the students to mod- pated in the project were awarded cer-
our foreign partners familiar with Krt- and German Diplomat, LTC Bernhard have been introduced at the Center. They ern Georgian combat equipment, army tificates and gifts.
sanisi National Training Center. They Hopp respectively. At the end of the
made a close study of the conditions meeting, the Deputy Defense Minister
under which our soldiers are being
trained. Our friends expressed their sat-
presented the guests with gifts as a mark
of friendship and respect. Students from GIPA visit the Ministry of Defense
Sophomore students from the School very important. We received extensive the base’s simulation systems and had
of Journalism and Media Management information and learnt about many new dinner with the soldiers. One of the stu-
at the Georgian Institute of Public Af- things as well as the fundamentals the dents, Ani Berukashvili told Defense
fairs (GIPA) became familiar with on- Georgian army is based on. On the Today about her impressions of the site:
going defense reforms at a visit to the whole, the meeting was very compre- “We took a look at the base and tasted
ministry in October. The students met hensive”, said Irina Laliashvili, a par- the daily rations of the servicemen. I par-
with Deputy Defense Minister, Nodar ticipating student. ticularly liked the Simulation Center. At
Kharshiladze who explained the struc- The students also had the opportuni- the beginning it looks like a game, but
ture of the armed forces, prospects for ty to inspect the base of the 4th Infantry then you understand that it actually rec-
defense cooperation with Euro-Atlantic Brigade at Vaziani, where they were reates a real war. I am glad that our mil-
organizations and changes being made hosted by Senior Sergeant, Aleksandre itary are being trained in such condi-
as part of the ongoing defense reforms. Gorgadze. They were able to become tions.”
The meeting was held in a highly inter- personally familiar with the soldiers’ The visit took place as part of ongo-
active format with the Deputy Minister training regime as well as take a close ing cooperation between The Ministry
fielding questions from the students. look at military and combat equipment. of Defense and the Georgian Institute
“The meeting for me as a novice was They took part in combat exercises, used of Public Affairs.

New Church Opened


A new church dedicated to St. Go- icance for Georgia as St. George. I think
bron has been opened at the base of the that it is very important to have a church
rd
3 Infantry Brigade. The foundations for to serve all military units to give our
the church were laid in the second half soldiers the opportunity to attend sermon
of 2008, after the Russian-Georgian War. whenever they want. It is very good that
The opening ceremony of the church the Ministry of Defense of Georgia gives
was attended by Metropolitan Kalistrate a great deal of importance to this issue.
of the Kutaisi and Gaenati Eparchy and Wherever there is a soldier there is a
by Father Jakob from the Ministry of chaplain. Each soldier needs a blessing
Defense. from God, especially those military ser-
Father Gobron served the first litur- vicemen who are performing their mis-
gy in the newly built church: “The foun- sion in Afghanistan,” he noted.
dations of the church were laid down The St. Gobron Church has its own
two years ago. We have consecrated the chapel and library. The church was built
groundwork in the name of Martyr Go- on the initiative of the Ministry of De-
bron as he has the same spiritual signif- fense and the 3rd Infantry Brigade.