On January 21–23, Georgian and Armenian Border Guard and Customs officials convened the first of two planning meetings related to a cross-border field exercise that will take place in June 2015. The exercise, which is being sponsored by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of State’s Export and Border Security program, will increase skills in detecting and detaining illegal movement of radioactive materials across the Armenia-Georgia border.
The Armenia-Georgia Cross Border Exercise aims to improve operational coordination, information exchange, and response by national entities who oversee management of the mutually shared border. The exercise will encourage border security authorities to become more involved in the integrated management of the border and will evaluate the following areas:
- Georgia and Armenia interagency communication, cooperation, and efficiencies in cross border information exchange.
- Risks and operational performance
- Synchronization of port of entry and border procedures, and alignment of detection and response procedures
- Radiological detection equipment application and maintenance
- Radiation safety and response procedures
The planning meeting’s discussion topics focused on potential exercise scenarios to be executed in June. The Armenian delegation included participants from the National Security Service Border Guard Troops, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority.