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The Georgian Armed Forces ( ), is the name of the unified armed forces of Georgiamarker. The Georgianmarker military is a defence force consisting of an Georgian Land Forces, Georgian Navy, Georgian Air Force and a paramilitary organization Georgian National Guard. The national defence policy aims which are based on the Constitution of Georgia are to guarantee the preservation of the independence and sovereignty of the state and the integrity of its land area, territorial waters and airspace and its constitutional order. The armed forces of Georgia are performed under the authority of the Georgian Ministry of Defence.

History

The GAF were established in the early 1990s from former Soviet Army units on Georgian soil, irregular militias, and Georgian personnel returning from other posts within the former Soviet Armed Forces.

On March 23, 1994, Georgiamarker was one of the first former Soviet Republic to join the Partnership for Peace. Among the Partners Georgia was the first country who could submit the special documentation (May 2004) and on October 29, 2004 the North Atlantic Council approved the first Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) for Georgia. If the IPAP is successful, Georgia will have good opportunity to accede to the Membership Action Plan (MAP).
Ministry of Defense headquarters in Tbilisi.
The Georgia Train and Equip Program (GTEP) training was conducted using U.S. Special Operations Forces and U. S. Marine Corps forces from May 2002 to May 2004. During this time approximately 2,600 Georgian soldiers, including a headquarters staff element and 5 tactical units, received training. Another assistance program, the Georgia Security and Stability Operations Program (Georgia SSOP), was launched in January 2005 as a continuation of the (GTEP) of 2002-2004. Georgian contingents were involved in the Kosovo Force and continue to participate in the operations in Iraqmarker and Afghanistanmarker.

The GAF have been extensively reformed in the recent years to meet Georgia’s aspirations to join NATO and for better response to the existing challenges such as the ongoing tensions in the unresolved separatist conflict areas in Abkhaziamarker and South Ossetiamarker as well as to the threats of global terrorism. Georgia also views a large-scale foreign invasion and the spillover of conflicts from Russia’s North Caucasus as the worst potential near- and long-term scenarios, respectively.

On August 8, 2008 the Georgian military started a military operation in South Ossetiamarker (see 2008 South Ossetia War), a disputed region within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia. Subsequently Russian military forces crossed into Georgia in order to 'defend Russian citizens'. In response Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili announced the mobilization of reserve forces to resist the Russian invasion.

The military budget of Georgia increased more than 50 times over the period from 2002 (US$ 18 mln.) to 2007 (US$ 780 mln.), reaching over 7% of Georgia's GDP. The military budget was thendoubled to the end of 2008 and currently since February 2009, counts more than US$ 2.4 billion consisting of over 17.2% of the country's GDP.

20th century

21st century

Organization

The current authorized strength of the GAF structures is 32,650 personnel, including 23,993 in the Land Forces, 2,091 in the Air Force, 1,350 in the Navy, and 9,196 in administration staff and central structures. The Georgian Parliament aims to increase the strength of the ground forces. At the end of 2010 the GAF will consist of 75,000 men; forming 5th and 6th brigades. Reserves will be total 120,000 men.


The Land Forces form the largest component of the GAF responsible for providing land defense against any threat to the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, supporting Border Police in border protection and civil authorities in counter-terrorist operations as well as providing units for NATO-led and coalition operations abroad. They are organized into infantry brigades, artillery and other supporting capacities operating at a battalion level.

The Air Force consists of aviation and air defense assets and provides security to Georgia’s airspace, while the Georgian Navy protects Georgia’s territorial waters and contributes to the collective maritime defense in the Black Sea region. The Special Force Brigade is responsible for conducting reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, and counter-terrorism operations. The Georgian National Guard organizes trains reservists in the peacetime and mobilizes them during a crisis or wartime.

Georgian Land Force

The main arm of the military of Georgia is the Georgian Land Forces which is based on brigade size military units. The branch has 5 infantry, 2 artillery, 1 Special Forces and 1 engineering brigade; 1 tank battalion and 6 support service battalions. The strength of Land Forces is 22,999 from which 2,382 are officers, 20,598 sergeants and corporals (contracting) and 16 civilians. The ground arm is equipped with various weapons systems and army branches. The Georgian Land Force consists of the following units:



  • 1st Artillery Brigade (Gori)
  • 2nd Artillery Brigade (Khonimarker)
  • Military Engineering Brigade (Osiauri)
  • Separate Light Infantry Battalion (Adlia)
  • Separate Tank Battalion (relocated from Gori to Mukhrovanimarker)




Georgian Air Force

The Georgian Air Force is made up by the air force and the air defense component. The air force is responsible for the control and air defense of the Georgian air space; conducting air intelligence and surveillance; providing support to the ground forces other services; conducting air evacuation and searching and rescuing operations; air movements of personnel and military cargo transportation.

The two major airfields are located near Tbilisimarker at Alekseevka and Marneulimarker. The Georgian Air Force is currently undergoing a process of modernization with the help of Georgia’s NATOmarker partners, specifically the United States and Turkeymarker. The Georgian Air Force currently numbers 22 planes, 11 Helicopters, and 1,194 Personnel.

Georgian Naval Force

The Georgian Navy is responsible for maintenance of the sovereignty of the country and for protection of internal territorial waters and economic zones. The headquarters and a principal naval base are located at the Black Seamarker port of Potimarker.


The other, smaller naval base is in Batumimarker. Besides the naval force, the navy also includes a Special Counter-terrorist Detachment force. Georgia is also one of the founding members and a participant of the Black Sea Naval Co-operation Task Group. Before the war with Russia, the Georgian navy had 19 naval vessels. 4 Of them were lost during the conflict. 15 vessels either escaped unscathed or were damaged and returned to service. A large number of small, rigid-hull inflatables were also captured by Russia. Five small patrol boats armed with anti-aircraft guns survived the war with Russia and are currently in service. One Turkish built MRTP-33 patrol/fast attack boat has been placed into service, and Georgia has ordered another. The Georgians have partially replaced their losses with Turkish-built patrol/fast attack boats. Their heaviest armaments are 25-30mm cannons. However, no Georgian navy vessels are currently armed with ship-to-ship armaments. After the war, the Georgian navy was merged with the Georgian coast guard.

National Guard of Georgia

The National Guard of Georgia was established on December 20, 1990 and was manned by volunteers. It represents the first Georgian armed formation, which became the base of the foundation for modern Georgian Armed Forces. The Guard actively participated in the conflicts that occurred in Georgian territory (Samachablo, Abkhazia).

The National Guard used to consist of 20,554 personnel, but has now been reduced to 550. The main missions of the National Guard are:

  1. Support civil government in crisis situations (natural, technological, ecological);
  2. Register mobilization resources, study and deliver;
  3. Convene, select and man of citizens on the basis of the agreement, for the units, subunits and bases of the Armed Forces;
  4. Provide ceremonial activity support;
  5. Help to train the Reserve Forces.


International cooperation

Georgian Armed Forces have been participating in peacekeeping missions (the Balkans, Persian Gulfmarker) since 1999.

Units participating in peacekeeping missions are manned by professional soldiers, the duration of the mission is six months and participation is voluntary. The readiness assessment criteria are, as follows: health condition, physical fitness, professional skills and experience.

Peacekeeping missions

About 200 Georgian troops were deployed in the Kosovo (KFOR) in 1999-2008, 70 were deployed in Iraq (OIF) in 2003 and 50 in Afghanistan in 2004 (ISAF). From 2004 in Iraq were 300 Georgian troops. From 2005 approximately 850 troops were serving under Coalition Command (OIF and UNAMI). On July 2007 Georgia sent an extra 1,400 troops to Iraqmarker; that brought the total number of troops in Iraq to 2,000 (Inf. Bde). On August 8, 2008 Georgia announced it will withdraw 1,000 troops from Iraq due to rising hostilities with Russia. Their preparedness and training skills are evaluated on high level by international experts.

Hence, owing to participation in international peacekeeping missions the military members are able to obtain practical experience and to show readiness to cooperate with NATOmarker and with other partner countries' forces.

1,000 Special Forces Soldiers are expected to be deployed in Afghanistan in 2010 under command of the United States

Flags

These are the Georgian military flags as of 2004.Image:Army Flag of Georgia.svg|Flag of Land ForcesImage:Naval Ensign of Georgia.svg|Flag of NavyImage:Georgian Air Force flag.svg|Flag of Air ForceImage:Flag of the National Guard of the Republic of Georgia.svg|Flag of National GuardImage:Georgia. Standard of Chief of General Staff.svg|Standard of Chief of General StaffImage:Georgia. Standard of Minister of Defence.svg|Standard of Minister of DefenceFile: Georgian Ministry of Defense logo.png|Saakashvili's Georgian Ministry of Defense logo

Gallery

Image:Georgian Army soldiers on firing range DF-SD-04-11509.JPG|Soldiers training during GTEP.Image:Georgian BTR-80s.jpg|Georgian BTR-80s.Image:Georgia 152mm SpGH DANA, 2008.JPG|Georgian 152mm SpGH DANA.Image:Hermes 450 in flight.jpg|UAV Hermes 450.

See also



References

  1. The Strategic Defense Review (2007), p. 77.
  2. The Strategic Defense Review (2007), p. 74.
  3. Georgian Ministry of Defence: Land Force
  4. В Грузию прибыли первые военные инструкторы из США (First USA instructors arrive in Georgia) [1] based on a report by Jeff Morrell Nytimes.Com, 13.08.2009
  5. http://www.mod.gov.ge/i.php?l=E&m=5&sm=7 Georgian Ministry of Defence
  6. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125547079455583357.html
  7. Georgia: Military flags, 2004


 2005


External links




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