Georgia and the United States will build a NATO logistics centre on the basis of Vaziani airfield, which Russia had used until 2007. The upgraded air base will thus be able to service even largest American aircraft. According to Georgian officials, the new facility will be used to distribute forces for military exercises, but it can also be used in the event of a real escalation of tensions in the region.
Georgian Defence Minister Levan Izoria announced the news after negotiations with the head of the US Transportation Command, General Stephen Lyons. The Georgian Defence Minister noted that the creation of the NATO-Georgia defence readiness centre "takes Georgia's cooperation with NATO to a new level."
It is worthy of note that the airbase in Vaziani will become NATO's third facility in Georgia. The first one was the training centre for mountain shooters in Sachkhere, whereas the second one was the training centre in Krtsanisi, which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg personally launched in 2015.
In 1992, Russia withdrew its military aircraft from Vaziani, but kept ground troops there. Formally, the Russian army base in Vaziani was delivered to Georgia in 2001, but the withdrawal of Russian troops from the base continued until 2007 ending several months before the five-day war between Russia and Georgia.