Tuesday, August 30, 2016

U.S. Marines are training with Eastern European allies to stop a ground invasion

U.S. Marines and troops from five Eastern European nations will train to band together to stop an enemy's tank invasion as tensions in that part of the world mount over increasingly aggressive behavior from Russia. 

About 300 Marines are headed to Georgia where they'll join troops from Ukraine, Latvia, Romania, Georgia and Bulgaria for a 13-day exercise that kicks off on Thursday. Their mission: To stop an enemy armor attack in the city of Akhaltsikhe, which is about a couple hundred miles from the Russian border.

Georgian tanks and Marine armored vehicles will be on defense in the exercise, during which the TOW ant-tank missile and other anti-armor weapons will be demonstrated, Marine Forces Europe and Africa announced on Tuesday. The training is part of an annual exercise called Agile Spirit, but this year's event is more robust than year's past, said Marine 2nd Lt. Joshua Hays, public affairs officer for Exercise Agile Spirit 2016.

"There will be more multinational participants than ever before, demonstrating the U.S. commitment to deepening the defense and security relationship with Georgia, as recognized in a memorandum signed during the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Georgia in July 2016," Hays said.  more