U.S. Embassy sponsors Armenia-Georgia Cross Border Exercise in Tbilisi (January 23)

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On January 21–23, Georgian and Armenian Border Police and Customs officials convened the first of two planning meetings related to a cross-border field exercise that will take place in June 2015.  The exercise, which is being sponsored by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of State’s Export and Border Security program, will increase skills in detecting and detaining illegal movement of radioactive materials across the Armenia-Georgia border.

The Armenia-Georgia Cross Border Exercise aims to improve operational coordination, information exchange, and response by national entities who oversee management of the mutually shared border.  The exercise will encourage border security authorities to become more involved in the integrated management of the border and will evaluate the following areas:

•        Georgia and Armenia interagency communication, cooperation,  and efficiencies in cross border information exchange

•        Risks and operational performance

•        Synchronization of port of entry and border procedures, and alignment of detection and response procedures

•        Radiological detection equipment application and maintenance

•        Radiation safety and response procedures

The planning meeting’s discussion topics focused on potential exercise scenarios to implement in June, and Georgian meeting participants represented departments under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Environment and Protection of Natural Resources, with representatives from Armenia’s National Security Service, the Nuclear Regulation Agency, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.