Georgian Contingent on ISAF Mission
Georgia is one of the largest contributors per capita to the ISAF military operation ongoing under the aegis of NATO in Afghanistan. Initially, up to 50 military servicemen were deployed in the peacekeeping mission in 2004, whose main duty there was to insure security during local presidential elections. Afterwards, from November 2009, in the town of Ghor province, Chaghcharan, the Georgian doctors have been performing peace mission in the province integrated in the Lithuanian contingent reconstruction group by 6 months rotation.
Since November 2009, first Georgian peacekeeping company was deployed in Kabul, Afghanistan to accomplish the mission there as a part of the French peace contingent at the military base “Warehouse” of the Regional Command’s HQs. According to the rotation principle, new company joins the NATO-led security operation in Afghanistan every 6 months.
Each Georgian Peace Company, going to deploy in Afghanistan, went through training courses at the Sachkhere Mountain-Training School in full compliance with NATO standards for two weeks. During the trainings the Georgian Armed Forces were specially prepared for counterinsurgency operations.
Since April 2010, a total of 750 servicemen of 31st Infantry Battalion of III Infantry Brigade of GAF were sent to the province of Helmand, the south province of Afghanistan. The Georgian peace contingent was carrying out there a full spectrum of security operations side by side with the US military forces. During November 2010, the 31st Battalion, been deployed in Afghanistan, was rotated by the 32nd Battalion of III Infantry Brigade. Since April 2011, the 33rd Battalion had performed a peacekeeping mission in the Afghan province of Helmand. After six months of service, in November 2011, 749 military servicemen of 31st Battalion of III Infantry Brigade replaced 33rd Battalion step by step. The Georgian peacekeeping battalion is performing the security mission in Afghanistan as part of the US military contingent. It is already a second rotation for the 31st battalion personnel, who are characterized with a high level of combat preparation and experience.
The above-mentioned battalions have undergone 6 month intensive training in the Krtsanisi Training Centre under the guidance of Expeditionary Brigade of US Marine Corps. The Battalion personnel have also gone through preparation in the US Joint Multinational Readiness Centre (JMRC) based in the German city of Hohenfels. They were instructed in defence, searching, cordon, convoy, evacuation operations as well as in skills of communication with leaders and population they will have to interact with during the mission. Georgian soldiers‘ preparedness level to engage in particular peace support operations in Afghanistan was positively evaluated by both the Centre’s experts and Trainers and Advisors Group of US Marines.
Besides, since April, 2011 Georgian military instructors have been carrying out peacekeeping mission in Kandahar province, Afghanistan as part of the French peace contingent.
Participation in international peacekeeping missions provides Georgian soldiers with an opportunity to obtain practical combat experience and to demonstrate the country’s readiness to cooperate with NATO and its partner states‘armed forces.