An official website of the United States government

General Joseph Jarrad of Georgia National Guard Address at Agile Spirit 2023 Closing Ceremony
September 1, 2023

General Joseph Jarrad of Georgia National Guard Address at Agile Spirit 2023 Closing Ceremony

Mr. Burchuladze, General Matiashvili, Generals, long-time friends, and colleagues,

Congratulations!  And thank you for hosting this multinational exercise.  I’m truly honored to be here today to address our partners and allies.  As we mark, the successful conclusion of exercise Agile Spirit 2023.  So I’ve been part of this relationship between the Georgia National Guard and the country of Georgia for over 11 years now.  And, being from the state of Georgia in the United States – I am Georgian – and so it’s always good to come to Georgia.  Organizing and hosting this complicated exercise, such as we’ve seen this demonstration today is exemplary of how Georgia has embraced collective security and prioritized multinational interoperability.  These past two weeks have further demonstrated the close relationship between the United States and Georgia, as well as Georgia’s strong partnership with NATO members and other partners.  This year Agile Spirit included more than 20 nations and over 3,500 troops.

The continued evolution of this exercise is a demonstration of the progress of this partnership.  With great complexity comes more work.  I therefore want to thank the exercise planners from the Georgian Defense Forces, U.S. Army Europe Fifth Corps, the National Guard of the State of Georgia, and all other participating units for your hard work, dedication, and flexibility.

To the soldiers standing in front of us, your presence here was more than simply another opportunity to train.  You embody the strong and abiding strategic partnership between our nations and the commitment to one another, that is the bedrock of our bilateral relationship.  I acknowledge and salute the sacrifices each of you has made.  All of you volunteer to leave your homes, fly across the ocean, and even jump out of airplanes to be here.

We thank you for your unwavering dedication and commitment.  And more importantly, this year’s Agile Spirit occurs during a period of heightened security challenges in this region.  This exercise allows us to increase transparency, mutual understanding, and promote regional stability.  Your successful completion of this year’s exercise reinforces that our path forward is together.

Thank you again for your extraordinary work and selfless service to this critical mission.  Strong Europe, stronger together.  Thank you very much.