Reporting Status: Normal Road conditions: Green as of 11/1/2017 2:10 PM Frost bite temperature: 22 as of 11/15/2017 05:28 AM

The Mountaineer Online



10th Combat Aviation Brigade supply specialist serves as interpreter in his native country


(Photo by Sgt. Shiloh Capers)<br />Pfc. Aleksandre Chkhikvishvili, a unit supply specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 277th Aviation Support Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, thanks Georgian soldiers for their time and help, in a conversation Aug. 5 at Tbilisi International Airport, Georgia. Chkhikvishvili supported the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade by acting as an interpreter during Exercise Noble Partner, a multinational, U.S. Army Europe-led exercise conducting home station training for the Georgian light infantry company designated for the NATO Response Force.
(Photo by Sgt. Shiloh Capers)
Pfc. Aleksandre Chkhikvishvili, a unit supply specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 277th Aviation Support Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, thanks Georgian soldiers for their time and help, in a conversation Aug. 5 at Tbilisi International Airport, Georgia. Chkhikvishvili supported the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade by acting as an interpreter during Exercise Noble Partner, a multinational, U.S. Army Europe-led exercise conducting home station training for the Georgian light infantry company designated for the NATO Response Force.

Sgt. Shiloh Capers

7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

TBILISI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Georgia – As a Tbilisi, Georgia native, Pfc. Aleksandre Chkhikvishvili, unit supply specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 277th Aviation Support Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI), Fort Drum, is now an interpreter here during Exercise Noble Partner.


Exercise Noble Partner is a multinational, U.S. Army Europe-led exercise conducting home station training for the Georgian light infantry company designated for the NATO Response Force. The eight nations participating in Noble Partner are Armenia, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.


As a child, Chkhikvishvili knew he wanted to be in the military. His father, once a major in the Georgian army, was a large influence on this decision. He told his sons stories of Georgia's civil war and conflicts in Abhkazia.


In June 2015, Chkhikvishvili and his Family left Georgia for the U.S. after receiving green cards.


Although he originally planned to serve in the Georgian army, Chkhikvishvili redirected his desire to join the U.S. Army. In August, he started speaking to recruiters.


"I joined the United States military because I understood that it would give me more chances in my life, to get better, to be a professional," he said. "Even if I ETS (expiration of term of service contract), I can get more jobs as a civilian and to give me a lot of opportunities in my life."


In February, Chkhikvishvili's unit deployed to Germany for its rotation to Operation Atlantic Resolve. During the rotation, he also has been in Bulgaria and Romania.


Learning he would be returning to Georgia for the first time since leaving the country was an incredible moment.


"I remember I was eating dinner, I ate it in like two minutes and ran to my first sergeant," Chkhik-vishvili said. "I was asking if it was true or no and he said, 'Yes, you're going to Georgia.' I cannot even describe my feelings, it was great."
Afterwards, he called his parents, brother and grandparents to share the news.


On July 30, Chkhikvishvili arrived in Georgia with the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI), Fort Drum.


The unit, also in Eastern Europe for a rotation, is participating in Noble Partner. Chkhik-vishvili supports the unit by acting as an interpreter.


On a daily basis, he works the night shift for Black Hawk pilots. He will speak to soldiers in the Georgian army, check on medevac flights and fill in flight plans. Whenever pilots need to communicate with soldiers in the Georgian army, he is translating.


Since returning, Chkhikvishvili has noticed changes to Tbilisi, such as buildings he doesn't recognize, a mall he's never been in and a new terminal at the airport.


Upon request, Chkhikvishvili bought small gifts as souvenirs for friends still in Germany. He has bought key chains, Georgian cups and lighters and shirts with the Georgian alphabet.


During a cultural day for the Army, he expects to act as tour guide. He plans to visit local areas, churches and restaurants.

"Of course, they're going to try the Georgian food," Chkhikvishvili said. "That's the main thing, because the food that we've got is, for me, the best in the world."


While the cultural day is yet undetermined, Chkhikvishvili is more eager to see the grandparents and friends he left behind.
Chkhikvishvili's experience as an interpreter has given him a small glimpse of what it may be like to be an interpreter in the military. It's another military career he may choose to pursue in the future, he said.


"Being an interpreter in my (native) country, it actually means a lot to me," he said. "I'm trying to help both sides, the American side and the Georgian side."


Helping both sides communicate and understand each other is a satisfying feeling, he said.





The Mountaineer



Archive

Year:
 




Public Affairs Office
Attn: Fort Drum Mountaineer
10012 South Riva Ridge Loop
Fort Drum NY 13602-5028
Email: usarmy.drum.imcom-atlantic.mbx.pao@mail.mil
 
 
This Army Civilian Enterprise Newspaper is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Fort Drum Mountaineer Online are not necessarily the official news of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, or Fort Drum.