Georgia NATO Trust Fund Partnership for Peace Closing Ceremony
27 February 2013
On 20 February 2013, Mr Steven Bernett, Director Logistics Operations, and Mr David Towndrow, Project Officer, "General Services" Programme (LG), joined Allies and NATO partner countries to mark the end of the Georgia III NATO Trust Fund/Partnership for Peace Project. The closing ceremony at NATO HQ was hosted by the Georgian Minister of Defence, Mr. Irakli Alasania with 21 Ambassadors amongst the 60 guests.
The project was established to train and equip 66 members of the Georgian Military Engineer Brigade specializing in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and demining. It was launched in October 2010 following a request by the Georgian Government. By April 2011, the soldiers were undergoing specialized training courses in EOD techniques. The training was conducted both in Georgia and in Azerbaijan by staff from the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA). A six month period of mentoring in which the soldiers cleared several areas of mines and unexploded ordnance ended in October 2012.
‘This NATO project brings tangible results to people and makes NATO’s work less abstract to society. It also improves livelihoods of those living in mine and UXO affected areas’ said James Appathurai, NATO’s DASG for Political Affairs and Security Policy.
The overall cost of the project was €1.54 million and covered specialist demining/logistic equipment (€600.000) and the provision of physiotherapy equipment to the Gori Military Hospital (€80.000) in Georgia.
As with the two previous Partnerships for Peace Trust Fund projects in Georgia, NSPA served as the Executing Agent.
Mr Steven Bernett and David Towndrow also presented the outline of a proposed new project in Georgia, which aims to build upon the last project and clear the UXO hazard from a partially exploded ammunition depot located at Skra.