The boarding teams of the Coast Guard Department of the Border Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia have passed the first stage of the second level of NATO certification assessment [SEL-2]. The assessment process was part of a visit by HMS DRAGON, a United Kingdom naval vessel from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
Two Coast Guard board abduction teams joined the NATO Operational Concept Evaluation and Feedback Program (OCC E&F) in 2017. The group certification process involves two levels and four steps [SEL1, NEL1, SEL2, NEL2] and aims to increase the level of interoperability with the NATO Navy. The assessment process is scheduled to be completed in 2021, after which the Georgian Coast Guard will have boarding units trained, equipped and certified to participate in NATO naval operations. Since 2019, Coast Guard vessels such as Dioscuria and Ochamchire have also been involved in the process.
In parallel with the evaluation process, the process of modernizing the equipment of the boarding groups is underway. The personal equipment of the representatives of the tactical units was updated. The teams were equipped with special means of detection and communication, as well as chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear hazards detection. Weapons were also renewed – Soviet-made weapons were replaced with modern, NATO-standard weapons.
The process of equipping the boarding groups was carried out with the active support of the US Export Control and Border Security Program (EXBS) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).