Over 3,000 military personnel from NATO member states and their partner countries will participate in the Agile Spirit 2019 Multinational Military Exercises to be held in Georgia from July 27 to August 9.
The exercises will be held under joint leadership of the Georgian Armed Forces and European Command of the US Armed Forces. Organizers will reveal the extent of military equipment and hardware involved at the final planning conference in Tbilisi in May.
Agile Spirit exercises have been held annually in Georgia since 2011. They were initially held solely within the bilateral military partnership of the USA and Georgia. These exercises were aimed at increasing the compatibility of the Georgian Armed Forces with NATO standards, and at preparing the Georgian military to participate in international peacekeeping operations.
From 2015, Agile Spirit turned into a multinational military exercise, and the USA and Georgia started new annual joint exercises called Noble Partner that are now regularly held at the Vaziani military base.
The Georgian Defense Ministry stated that Agile Spirit 2019 will be held this year to enhance the Georgian Armed Forces’ defense capabilities, to enhance interoperability of the NATO forces with the military of partner countries, to develop and create new opportunities for multinational, regional and bilateral partnership, and to enhance the security of the Black Sea region.
Before Agile Spirit 2019, another joint, large-scale exercise with 22 NATO countries and Alliance partners will be held in Georgia. Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria reported that these exercises would take place under the leadership of only the Georgian military, which happens for the first time in Georgian history.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will come to Georgia in March, ostensibly to discuss strengthening the NATO partnership with Georgia.