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Georgian Armed Forces

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Georgian Armed Forces

საქართველოს შეიარაღებული ძალები
Georgian Armed Forces
Ministry of Defence of Georgia logo
Founded Early 1990s
Current form 1991
Service branches Georgian Land Forces
Georgian Special Forces
Georgian Air Force
Georgian Coast Guard
Georgian National Guard
Headquarters Tbilisi
Supreme Commander-in-chief Giorgi Margvelashvili
Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania
Chief of General Staff of Georgian Armed Forces Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze
Military age 18-30 years old
Conscription 18 years of age, 18 months
Available for
military service
2,038,736, age 18-35 (2011 est.)
Fit for
military service
827,281, age 18-35 (2011 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
56,965 (2011 est.)
Active personnel 37,825 as of 2013[1]
Reserve personnel 140,000 as of 2014[2]
Deployed personnel  Afghanistan - 755 troops deployed in Helmand and Kabul. Withdrawal process[3]
 Central African Republic - 140 troops deployed as peacekeepers[4]

595,000,000 GEL
360,000,000 USD (2013) [5]

(824,023,170 USD) (2012)
Percent of GDP 1.2% (2013)[6]
Domestic suppliers

Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing
Scientific Technical Center Delta

Tbilisi Tank Factory
Foreign suppliers  United States
 Czech Republic
 United Kingdom
Related articles
History Military history of Georgia
Ranks Georgian military ranks

The Georgian Armed Forces (Georgian Ministry of Defence.


  • History 1
    • 20th century 1.1
    • 21st century 1.2
      • Reconstruction 1.2.1
  • 2014 NATO summit in Wales 2
    • Alternative to MAP 2.1
  • Organization 3
    • Ground arms 3.1
    • Regular Forces 3.2
      • Independent Units 3.2.1
    • Special Forces 3.3
    • Army Air Section (former Air Force) 3.4
    • Georgian Coast Guard (Former Naval Force) 3.5
    • National Guard of Georgia 3.6
    • Army Reserve and Territorial Defence Forces 3.7
    • Commissioned officers 3.8
  • International cooperation 4
    • Peacekeeping missions 4.1
  • Military Industry 5
  • Bases 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10


The GAF were established in the early 1990s from former Soviet Armed Forces.

On March 23, 1994, 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 Defence headquarters in Tbilisi

The Kosovo Force and continue to participate in the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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 North Caucasus as the worst potential near- and long-term scenarios, respectively.[7]

On August 8, 2008 the Georgian military conducted an operation in Georgia's breakaway region South Ossetia (see 2008 South Ossetia War). The operation led to an armed conflict with forces from the Russian Federation and resulted in the defeat and expulsion of Georgian forces from South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Following the military operations, Russia recognized independence of the regions, declared a decade ago.

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 then doubled to the end of 2008 and currently since February 2009, counts 660 mln lari (US$366 mln.)

20th century

21st century

A Georgian sniper engages Ossetian soldiers during the 2008 South Ossetia war.

In August 2008, following a series of fierce clashes in

  •, an information website
  • Ministry of Defence of Georgia: The Strategic Defence Review 2007. Accessed on May 7, 2008.
  • on Georgia’s military
  • Ministry of the defence of Georgia: Armed Forces of Georgia. Accessed on March 6, 2009.
  • Military Heraldry of Georgian Armed Forces.

External links

Further reading

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes). 2005  This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2005 edition".

  1. ^ "Official report from Ministry of Defense of Georgia 00". Ministry of Defense. 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Air Forces to Become Part of Land Forces". Civil.Ge. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  7. ^ The Strategic Defense Review (2007), p. 77.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Tutte le dimensioni |IMG_0721 | Flickr – Condivisione di foto!". Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ "U.S. Reviewing Military Aid to Georgia, Pledges to Prevent Russia From Creating 'Divide' in Europe". Fox News. December 7, 2011. 
  14. ^ $400 mln on guns, $12 mln on economy: Saakashvili's spending plan RT on YouTube
  15. ^ "Russian peacekeeper". Russian peacekeeper. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ (Georgian) საქართველოს სამხედრო ძალების რაოდენობის დამტკიცების შესახებ. Parliament of Georgia. December 17, 2010. Accessed April 12, 2011
  25. ^ a b The Strategic Defense Review (2007), p. 74.
  26. ^ "Structure of Land Forces". Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  27. ^ "Вооружённые силы Грузии". 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  28. ^ "Georgian Ministry of Defence: Land Force". Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  29. ^ See also
  30. ^ Tenth Georgia Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Retrieved: September 1, 2011
  31. ^ Seth Robson. "U.S. training a dual mission for Georgians". Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  32. ^ Georgia keeps helping Afghanistan -, September 10, 2012
  33. ^ "Georgia doubles number of troops in Afghanistan". Khaama Press (KP), Afghan Online Newspaper. November 28, 2012. 
  34. ^


  • Georgia and NATO
  • Modern equipment of the Georgian Army

See also

Name Location
Ministry of Defence Headquarters Tbilisi
Vaziani Military Base near Tbilisi
Krtsanisi Military Base near Tbilisi
Akhalkalaki Military Base Akhalkalaki
Alekseevka Airbase near Tbilisi
Marneuli Airbase Marneuli
Bolnisi Airbase near Tbilisi
Gori Military Base Gori
Senaki Military Base Senaki
Poti naval base Poti
Mukhrovani Military Base Mukhrovani
Kutaisi Military Base Kutaisi
Khelvachauri Military Base Khelvachauri
Khoni Military Base Khoni
Batumi naval base Batumi


Didgori-1 on parade in 2011
Georgia began working intensely on military projects after 2008, since then Georgia has developed and produced:

Georgia has a long history of weapon production tracing back to ancient times. More recent developements however have their roots in the Soviet Union. In 1941 Georgia became one of the most important Soviet weapon manufacturing countries during the 2nd World War. It was responsible for providing the Soviet Army with all types of aircraft and ammunition. MLRS, mortars and corresponding ammunition; anti tank weapons and devices; full uniform sets, ceremonial and for all service branches, those are boots, hats, assault vests, puches and backpacks etc. New kind of ballistic vests and helmets are being developed and produced for military service since 2013. The Georgian production bears techniques based on know-how from aero-space research which methodics differ slightly yet significantly from foreign analogues. Among the first units to use these new items, is the peacekeeping contingent currently stationed in the Central African Republic.

Georgian PDSHP anti materiel rifle

Military Industry

Since 2014 Georgia is also contributing 140 troops to the EUFOR peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic.

[33] Currently there are more than 1,570 Georgian combat troops deployed in

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

About 200 Georgian troops were deployed in the Kosovo (Iraq; that brought the total number of troops in Iraq to 2,000. About 300 of these troops were assigned to Taskforce Petro and stationed at COP Cleary outside the town of Wahida near Salman Pak, Iraq. 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 highest level by international experts. The entire Iraq contingent has been airlifted back to Georgia.

Georgian troops listening to a speech in Baghdad, Iraq

Peacekeeping missions

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.

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

International cooperation

Georgian armed forces O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10 0-11
Title Third Lieutenant Second Lieutenant First Lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant Colonel Colonel Brigadier General Major General Lieutenant General General
NATO Code OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9

Commissioned officers

The conscripts are generally poorly equipped compared to their land forces counterparts. The number of combat, protection gear and supplies will be most likely limited in the event of war. The Territorial Defence Force consists of ordinary citizens of all occupations who undertake training in the basics of modern warfare. The weapons trained on are mainly of soviet origin and abandoned material used formerly by the regular army, including tanks. Such weapons are the AK series assault rifes and rocket propelled launchers RPG-7.

Other than the active army reserve which consists of only ex military personnel, the Territorial Defence Forces are rather sparsely prepared for complex military operations. It instead provides more comfort for the regular forces in case of war. By acting as additional logistical arm and leaving the actual combat to them. With the land forces and reserve army engaged in direct action the Defence Force's most important task would be to construct trenches, bunkers and obstacles around strategically important areas and position themselves on systematically formed defensive lines. The number of conscripts does not exceed 140,000 and is reasonably large, as it is in the strategy's intention to use any possible geographical advantage over the enemy, when professionalism is compensated by that factor.

The Territorial Defence Forces were established for immediate readiness of the population in crisis events, such as war. Its main goals would be the fortification and defence of all populated and strategically important areas as well as providing quick aid or security for evacuation operations in case of natural catastrophes.

The Army Reserve is a professional reserve force consisting of former regular army personnel only. It is circa 140,000[2] men strong and provides combat support or delaying manouveurs against hostile forces. Due to the amount of experience, the Reserve personnel would be set-in for replacement of losses in the ranks of regular formations and will if needed also operate in the vanguard of a combined mechanized group or an infantry assault. The equipment does not greatly differ from that of regular army, even though it has not the same priority level in terms of supply and logistics.

Army Reserve and Territorial Defence Forces

  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. Assisting in training the Reserve Forces.

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:

The National Guard of Georgia was established on December 20, 1990 and was manned mainly 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).

National Guard of Georgia

The other, smaller Coast Guard base is in Black Sea Naval Co-operation Task Group. Before the war with Russia, the Georgian navy had 19 naval vessels. 4 of them were sunk during the conflict, and nine rigid-hull inflatables were captured by Russia. The Georgians raised and returned to service two of the sunken vessels, and partially replaced their losses with Turkish-built patrol/fast attack boats. Their heaviest armaments are 25−30mm cannons. However, no Georgian navy vessels are armed with ship-to-ship missiles.

Georgian Coast Guard vessels

The Georgian Navy was abolished in 2009 and was incorporated into the Coast Guard, which is not structurally part of the Georgian Armed Forces, but rather it is a subunit of the Border Guard of Georgia, which is under the control of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. The Black Sea port of Poti.

In 2007 the Strategic Defence Review said the Georgian Navy protects Georgia’s territorial waters and contributes to the collective maritime defence in the Black Sea region.

Georgian Coast Guard (Former Naval Force)

Two major airfields are located near Alekseevka and Marneuli.

The Georgian Air Force was merged into the Army in 2010, and was renamed the Army Air Section, undergoing massive reorganization and restructuring. The additional operative section of the 2008 South Ossetia War,

The Strategic Defence Review in 2007 described the Air Force consists of aviation and air defence assets and provides security to Georgia’s airspace.

Georgian Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft

Army Air Section (former Air Force)

Since 2001, Taliban leaders. Georgian officials have stated that a group of servicemen were deployed in Afghanistan for medical purposes.

Georgian Special Forces are subordinated under the MOD Special Operations Main Division to a brigade-level command structure. Each formation is split into several sub-divisions which are allocated on different Georgian regions, cities and strategically important areas. Most units are composed of veterans of past conflicts including the insurgency in Chechnya. Some soldiers served in former Soviet Army formations in Russia and the Ukraine.

  • Special Forces Brigade
    • Operational Headquarters (Tbilisi)
      • Special Operations Battalion
      • Naval Special Operations Group
      • Mountain-Recon Battalion
      • Support/Maintenance Battalion
      • Special Forces Training Center

Special Forces

In 2011 the Georgian high command decided to divide its military forces into two main operational units; the Eastern-and Western Operational Groups. The aim was to create two independently acting military districts which would consist of forces in accordance to the strategic value of their deployment areas yet being balanced in their type of equipment. In case of war each group will be able to coordinate its operations independently from high command, having its own logistical and administrative reserves.

  • Engineer Brigade
  • Air Defence Brigade (Kutaisi)
  • Separate Light Infantry Battalion (Batumi)
  • Military Intelligence Battalion (Kobuleti)
  • Signal Battalion
  • Medical Battalion (Saguramo)

Independent Units

  • HQ, Land Forces Command (Tbilisi)
    • Central Command Point
  • Operational Command East
    • 1st Infantry Brigade (Tbilisi)
    • 4th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (Vaziani)
      • 41st Mechanized Infantry Battalion
      • 42nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion
      • 43rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion
    • 5th Infantry Brigade (Gori)
      • 51st Light Infantry Battalion
      • 52nd Light Infantry Battalion
      • 53rd Light Infantry Battalion
    • 1st Artillery Brigade (Vaziani)
  • Operational Command West
    • 2nd Infantry Brigade (Senaki)[29]
      • 21st Light Infantry Battalion
      • 22nd Light Infantry Battalion
      • 23rd Light Infantry Battalion
    • 3rd Infantry Brigade (The Mamelukes) (Kutaisi)
      • 31st Light Infantry Battalion
      • 32nd Light Infantry Battalion
      • 33rd Light Infantry Battalion
    • 2nd Artillery Brigade (Khoni)
Assault training during Combined Resolve II
Casualty treatment training during Combined Resolve II
Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan

Regular Forces

The Georgian Land Force consists of following combat formations (incomplete):[28]

The structure of the (see here). Special forces operate independently under MOD direction.

Ground arms

In addition there is the Army Logistics Provision Command and the Military Training and Education Command, which supervises the Sachkhere Mountain Training School.

The Special Force Brigade is responsible for conducting reconnaissance, unconventional warfare and counter-terrorism operations. The Georgian National Guard organizes and trains reservists in the peacetime and mobilizes them during a crisis or wartime.[25]

The Land Forces form the largest component of the GAF responsible for providing land defence 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.[25]

  • Georgian Land Forces
  • National Guard of Georgia

[24] The Georgian legislation (17 December 2010) had established that the strength of the armed forces should not exceed 37,000 up to the year 2011. However current regulations on the size of the armed forces are unknown. Recruitment and size have been increased since 2012. Limitations do not extend to the [23] The current overall strength of the GAF as of 2013 is 43,475, including 37,825 active duty personnel, 1,940 civilians in educations sphere, 533 in health insurance and 3,177 for supply duties.

Structure of the Georgian Armed Forces as of 2014


Despite knowing that there wouldn't be any newcomers announced during the Wales summit, the Georgian government was confident that their country would at least receive the Membership Action Plan, which is the primary precondition for aspirant nations to become NATO member. Instead of the MAP Georgia was offered an alternative route which got accepted by the countrys officials yet was received with very mixed feelings. The new level of cooperation brings Georgia onto the list of special NATO partners together with Sweden and four other countries.

Alternative to MAP

Almost immediately after the summit US defense secretary Chuck Hagel announced during his visit to Georgia that the US will start providing long requested UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters which is an arrangement reportedly outside the NATO package. Russia reacted very critical to the plan of building an international training center in Georgia claiming it would bring instability to the region. The statement was denied by NATO reminding that Georgia is a PFP member and already provides similar capabilities such as an alpine warfare school for NATO and partner nations.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

The most recent major reforms started in late 2013 and have been expanded by the NATO Wales summit resolution of 2014. NATO officially announced the complete support of the country's efforts in establishing the efficient military force that is required to defend the country against any regional threats and agreed on delivering high end sophisticated defense capabilities and boosting the overall quality of the GAF. The package also includes a group of NATO experts monitoring the process in order to control and ensure its successful implementation for the given time period. Further a large training center for joint military drills will be constructed. NATO did not state that it would directly arm the GAF but fully assist in acquiring requested military hardware and that it would lift the general arms embargo on Georgia that was in effect since 2008. After the last major conflict with Russia, Georgia repeatedly was denied the delivery of modern anti-air and anti-tank weapons and other heavy equipment despite heavy shortage on said weapons and numerous demands and harsh criticism from both the former and current ruling parties.

U.S. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland meeting with Georgian defense ministry leadership, 3 December 2013

2014 NATO summit in Wales

Since 2010 Georgia started to produce its own line of armoured fighting vehicles, small arms, artillery systems and unmanned aerial vehicles. [15] Georgia immediately began a process of re-armament after the war. The conflict was immediately followed by a very quick replenishment program of the gaps in the single GAF arms components with an additional massive re-equipment and modernization program. Two Georgian naval vessels sunk in



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