#10 - JRL 7209
US May Use Georgian Military Airports
TBILISI, June 3. The US has not ruled out using Georgian aerodromes for part of its campaign against terrorism. This was announced by US Marines Commander Mike Hague at a meeting with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze in Tbilisi today.
Mr Hague travelled to Georgia to assess the level of military reform in the country and to judge the progress of the US military programme whereby US military instructors are training four battalions of Georgian commandos, each numbering about three thousand soldiers.
As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed by the press office of the Georgian government, Mr Hague was generally pleased with the standard of the commando units. However, he said he was doubtful that full or even partial financing of the military programmes will be available due to a lack of budget funds.
The aerodromes are below standard in terms of technology and infrastructure. Nevertheless, Mr Hague believes the location of the aerodromes could be strategically important. It is possible that the US will help to finance the reconstruction of one or two of the aerodromes.