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Issue #594

30.12.11 - 12.01.12

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Letter by General David H. Petraeus to Georgian Defence Minister Bachana Akhalaia

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His Excellency Bachana Akhalaia

Dear Excellency,

I greatly appreciate your Nationís contributions to the NATO ISAF mission. The 31st (April-November 2010) and 32nd (November 2010-present) Georgian Battalions have been integral to the growing success of our efforts to improve security and stability, specifically in Nimruz and Helmand Provinces.

Your forces have been very successful in partnering with the Afghan National Security Force and with local Afghan Government leaders. Together they have conducted numerous operations and implemented many initiatives to increase security and stability. Your troopersí effective interactions with the Afghan people have led to increased confidence in both ISAF and GIRoA security forces. As an example, the area where they operate is southern Musa Qaleh is now patrolled on foot, resulting in better relationships with the Afghan people. Your troopers are truly courageous in conducting these foot patrols, which place them at greater risk of insurgent attacks.

Much of the credit for improved security in southern Musa Qaleh is attributable to the outstanding leadership of your battalion commanders: Lieutenant Colonel Phridoni Tereladze and Major Alexander Tugushi. Both possesses superior knowledge of their areas of operation, maintain good discipline of their forces, and plan sound operations to reduce the insurgentsí influence on the people.

Major General Richard Mills, Commander of Regional Command-Southwest, has been very pleased with the leadership of both the 31st and 32nd Battalions. He informed me that your troopers are motivated and disciplined, and that they approach their mission with a positive attitude. Other favorable comments about your troops have been echoed up and down the levels of command, reinforcing their well-earned reputation as tough, smart, and professional.

Thanks again, for your Nationís commitment to the Afghan people and the campaign here. I look forward to continuing our work together to help the Afghanistan Government provide a more secure and prosperous future for its people.

Very respectfully,

David H. Petraeus,

General, United States Army Commander

International Security Assistance Force / United States Forces-Afghanistan

29.12.2011

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