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Black Sea Rotational Force kicks off with Operation Agile Spirit

US Marine Corps News

By Cpl. Paul D. Zellner II, Marine Forces Europe

VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Georgia -- Marines and sailors with SPMAGTF Black Sea Rotational Force began their 6-month deployment with Operation Agile Spirit on Vaziani Training Area in Georgia, March 12. The combined operation between the United States Marine Corps and the Georgian Land Forces is designed to enhance interoperability, promote regional stability and build camaraderie amongst the forces.

The operation began with an opening ceremony on the parade field of the training area and featured the Black Sea Rotational Force and Georgian soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade.

Combined training with the Marines is a great opportunity, said Brigade Sergeant Erahli Djimsheradze, 4th Infantry Brigade. Both our forces will benefit from sharing this experience.

After the ceremony the forces moved to the field for a 6-day training exercise. The events of the exercise includes training on live-fire ranges, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, cordon and search, combat life saver, convoy operations and counter IED tactics.

Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade will be deploying next year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan after completing all necessary pre-deployment training.

“In the past years Georgians and Americans have fought, bled and died together in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Lt. Col. Richard Coates, commanding officer of BSRF during the ceremony. “We could ask for no better force to serve with and fight alongside.” After the ceremony the BSRF leadership met with officers of the Georgian Land Forces for a staff and officer call.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to train alongside our partner nations,” said Sgt. Maj. Gary Jacobs, BSRF sergeant major, while conversing with his Georgian counterparts. “We are looking forward to a successful field-op,” he added.

Upon completion of Operation Agile Spirit, the Marines and sailors of BSRF will re-deploy to Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania and continue their assigned mission which involves training exercises with 19 nations planned throughout the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucusus regions.

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