14 • Transformation Through Training • Issue No: 11 • November 2018 The alarm goes off at 1200hrs, thankful for getting a few hours of sleep after an overnight flight from Warsaw, we greet sunrise with a brief look of confusion…oh yeah, we’re in Tbilisi again… We shower and put our uniforms on making sure to put a quick shine on our boots…we know people will be watching us today. We make sure our uniforms look good and grab our head- dress, which we rarely wear at work in Poland and head for the elevators… We grab a quick bite to eat with the JFTC and Land Command teams, who come in at different times, depending on how much and how fast they eat. We are all on time as we climb into the old minivans, whose tailgates don’t open anymore and whose drivers, while friendly, look like they have serious mileage on them too. We close our eyes and grit our teeth as if preparing for impact as they bravely enter the fast-moving streams of Tbilisi morning rush hour traffic. We try to relax for the harrowing ride out of the city to the Krtsanisi Training Area and the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center…we call it the JTEC… We survive the ride and arrive at the Krtsanisi main gate and after a few quizzical looks and a phone call, we are waved through by the Security Non-commissioned Officer who looks official with his walkie- talkie and pistol on his belt. We pass a church along the route, where Georgian soldiers cross themselves as they walk past – a tribute to their deeply held Orthodox Christian beliefs. The drivers slalom through the potholes in the road while we pass a mix of old and new infrastructure – a new fence to control access to the range…a new JTEC Headquarters building… good to see progress on construction… We arrive at the Simulation Center and are received by our partners who greet us as family members…one kiss on the cheek in Georgia…smiles and handshakes all around! We break into our functional groups in a most natural way…CIS1 guys talk to CIS guys, OPR2 s talk to OPRs, smokers with smokers. We talk of our trip and the weather and how busy everyone is. Those who have been working together for almost two years talk of families and vacation plans. The search for coffee begins…a cup is brought to most of us by our hosts. Mine is accompanied with the comment “…nice boots!”…I knew someone would notice… Looking at our watches we look at each other, silently asking if we should take our seats but there is no need to rush pleasantries…relationships are crucial to success on both sides. Twenty minutes late, a voice asks us to sit down around the horseshoe table arrangement so we can start. Updates on planning efforts for the next NATO-GEO Exercise in March, 2019 are brief and to the point, some illicit discussion, some discussions become emotional but despite the challenges we all recognize, progress is being made in most areas. We all wish we had more personnel to do all this work! No-one complains, but most armies face more tasks than they have capacity for and the Georgian Army is no different…We wish we had a simple CIS solution…a discussion about priorities follows and the meeting progresses… The meeting is over. We have some time now to discuss next steps with our Georgian counterparts. Our SNGP3 A Week in the Life of a JFTC Mentor in Georgia The JFTC Mentor Team ■ In 2016, the Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) assumed a leading role in developing and executing the first NATO-Georgia exercise as well as NATO- Georgia mentoring programme. The centre is now preparing for the second exercise to be held in 2019 and continues the mentoring programme.