Georgia sends new contingent to Iraq
27/11/2006 13:02 TBILISI, November 27 (RIA Novosti) - A special-purpose infantry battalion of the Georgian Defense Ministry has completed its mission in Iraq and returned to Georgia, the ministry said Monday.
The battalion was replaced by the 31st Light Infantry Battalion, whose servicemen have been trained as part of the U.S. European Command's Sustainment and Stability Operations Program in Georgia.
On November 4, 300 servicemen of the 31st Battalion went to Iraq.
Some 850 Georgian troops are currently deployed in Iraq.
The Sustainment and Stability Operations Program was launched in March 2005 in Georgia, whose President Mikheil Saakashvili is known for his Western leanings and desire to take the country into NATO.
Three battalions of 1,500 servicemen have been trained under the program. In July 2006, the United States and Georgia decided to train another 2,500-strong Georgian brigade.
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