09TBILISI1505, GEORGIA: U.S. TRAINING STARTS SEPTEMBER 1 FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1505 2009-08-07 11:34 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7334
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1505 2191134
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 071134Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1993
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHMO/USDAO MOSCOW RS PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFITT/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMMARFOREUR  PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001505 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/30/2019 
TAGS: PREL MASS PTER GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: U.S. TRAINING STARTS SEPTEMBER 1 FOR 
GEORGIAN BATTALION FOR COUNTERINSURGENCY OPERATIONS IN 
AFGHANISTAN 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT, REASON: 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (U)  This is an action request, please see paragraph 6. 
 
2.  (C) Summary:  Members of the Georgian ISAF Deployment 
Training Program (GIDTP), led by the United States Marine 
Corps (USMC), will begin training a Georgian infantry 
battalion on September 1.  The training will continue through 
February 2010.  Subsequently, the USMC will train three other 
Georgian infantry battalions in succession for six months 
each, in order to maintain a battalion-sized Georgian 
military presence in Afghanistan for two years.  The 
objective of the program is to prepare Georgian infantry 
battalions to conduct operations in a counter-insurgency 
(COIN) environment and to be capable of owning or sharing 
battlespace as part of a U.S. Marine Expeditionary Brigade 
(MEB) in Afghanistan.  End Summary. 
 
JUNE ASSESSMENT OF GEORGIAN PREPAREDNESS 
 
3. (C) Following a June 2009 assessment of the Georgian 31st 
Battalion, Col. Scott Cottrell, Director of the Marine Corps 
Training Advisory Group, briefed the Ambassador on U.S. 
Marine training plans in anticipation of Georgian deployment 
to Afghanistan alongside U.S. forces.  During a six month 
training period, the Georgians will be trained to work in a 
COIN environment; the pre-deployment training program aims to 
train Georgian battalions so that they will be capable of 
owning their own battle space.  Also, the program is designed 
to build Georgia,s ability to conduct this type of training 
themselves, so that they can continue to make effective 
contributions to U.S. and NATO-led coalitions in the future. 
 
4.  (C)  There will be four iterations of training and with 
each iteration, Georgian trainers will accept increasingly 
more responsibility.  By the fourth session, U.S. trainers 
will no longer be serving as primary instructors, but as 
assistant instructors.  The first Georgian battalion to be 
trained, the 31st, should be ready for deployment to 
Afghanistan by March 1, 2010.  According to Cottrell, a 
significant challenge for U.S. military training in Georgia 
(as has been the case in other countries) will be 
institutionalizing training so that it can continue 
independent of U.S. involvement. 
 
LANGUAGE SKILLS PRESENT MAJOR HURDLE 
 
5.  (C) Poor English skills will present the most significant 
challenge to Georgian interoperability in Afghanistan.  ODC 
has requested $500,000 in 2009 supplemental funding (from the 
$1 billion USG post-conflict pledge of support to Georgia) in 
order to support increased English language training in the 
armed forces.  Additionally, Col. Cottrell recommended using 
IMET to increase the professional military education of the 
leaders of follow-on battalions.  This would greatly enhance 
the chances of successful deployments for these battalions 
and improve the professionalism of the Georgian Armed Forces 
in general. 
 
6.  (C) Action Request: Post requests that the Department, in 
cooperation with Department of Defense, develop a public 
diplomacy strategy to anticipate and quell any stories from 
the media that may misconstrue the purpose of this training 
as offensive in nature. 
TEFFT

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