Role of Georgia in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A Georgian soldier with the 31st Georgian Light Infantry Battalion scans for enemy activity while on patrol in the Helmand province. April 16, 2012.
Georgian soldiers with the Batumi Light Infantry Battalion provide 360-degrees of protection during a patrol halt near in the Helmand province in November 2013.

Georgia joined the war in Afghanistan in 2004 and the country had become the largest non-NATO[1] and the largest per capita[2] troop contributor to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan by late 2012, with over 1,560 personnel on the ground as of May 2013. Georgia currently provides two full infantry battalions serving with the United States forces in the Helmand province. At various times, the country has also deployed an infantry company serving with the French contingent in Kabul, medical personnel within the Lithuanian Provincial Reconstruction Team in Chaghcharan, and some individual staff officers.[3]

Since 2010, 29 Georgian servicemen have been killed and at least 120 wounded.[4]

Initial involvement, 2004–2009[edit]

Georgia, aspiring to accede to the NATO membership, first joined the coalition war efforts in Afghanistan in 2004, when 50 servicemen of the 16th Mountain Battalion were deployed for 100 days under the German command as part of security efforts during the Afghan presidential election in October 2004.[1] In November 2007 Georgian medical personnel joined the Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Chaghcharan in the Ghor province of central Afghanistan.[3][5]

On March 2, 2005, the Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer signed an agreement in Brussels regarding the provision of Georgia's support to and transit of NATO forces and NATO personnel bound to Afghanistan.[6]

Troops deployment, 2009–present[edit]

The Georgian 31st Light Infantry Battalion departs for the service in Afghanistan. April 7, 2010.
The U.S. and Georgian forces on a patrol base in Helmand province. April 17, 2012.

Georgia became more energetically involved in the coalition campaign in 2009, when, on October 16, 173-strong company of the 23rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade, was sent under the French command to the Camp Warehouse in Kabul. With the planned withdrawal of the French from Afghanistan, in June 2013, this unit, then consisting of 50 soldiers, was redeployed to Camp Phoenix, maintained by the United States army and used for training of the Afghan military.[7]

Georgia increased its presence to a battalion-size contingent of 749 troops deployed in the volatile Helmand province of south Afghanistan for service with the United States Marines in April 2010, and doubled its contribution to 1,571 soldiers in October 2012.[1] Beyond this, Georgian artillery instructors served with the French contingent in the Kandahar province from April 2011 to April 2012, and two liaison officers were attached to the Turkish staff in Kabul from January 2010 to January 2011.[5] Thereby, by October 2012, Georgia had become one of the largest non-NATO contributors to the ISAF operation together with Australia, whose contribution was an annual average of 1,550.[8]

The Georgian troops deployed in Afghanistan had been trained with the help of the U.S. military within the frame of the Georgia Deployment Program – International Security Assistance Force (GDP–ISAF), launched in 2009, at the Krtsanisi National Training Centre in Georgia and the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany.[5][9]

In February 2013 Georgia offered NATO to provide training to the Afghan military both in Georgia and on the ground in Afghanistan after the planned withdrawal of the NATO combat mission in 2014.[1]

Rotation of Georgian battalions since 2010[edit]

  1. April 2010 – November 2010: 31st Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade.
  2. November 2010 – April 2011: 32nd Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade.
  3. April 2011 – November 2011: 33rd Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade.
  4. November 2011 – April 2012: 31st Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade.
  5. April 2012 – October 2012: 23rd Infantry Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade.
  6. October 2012 – March 2013: 12th Infantry Battalion, 1st Infantry Brigade, and 32nd Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade.
  7. March 2013 – October 2013: 33rd Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, and 42nd Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade.[5]
  8. October 2013 – March 2014: 31st Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, and Separate Batumi Light Infantry Battalion.
  9. March 2014 – Present: 23rd Infantry Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade, Mountain-Intelligence Battalion, and Reinforced Platoon, 13th Infantry Battalion, 1st Infantry Brigade.

Casualties[edit]

The U.S. President Barack Obama meets LTC Alex Tugushi recuperating at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland. March 10, 2012.

The first Georgian fatality occurred on September 5, 2010. Overall, 29 Georgian soldiers have been killed and at least 170 wounded in Afghanistan. The highest number of Georgian fatalities in a single incident was on June 6, 2013, when an explosive-laden truck hit an outpost of Georgian soldiers in Helmand, killing 7 and injuring 9.[10] On September 30, 2010, when a mine blast killed four servicemen, the highest-ranking Georgian in Afghanistan, Colonel Ramaz Gogiashvili was killed. The largest attack on the area of responsibility of the Georgian forces occurred on May 14, 2013, when a suicide bombing with an explosives-laden truck at the ISAF base at Shir Ghazay, Helmand province, was followed by an attack by a group of insurgents. The Georgians killed all intruders and secured the territory, losing three killed and 27 wounded in the blast.[1]

The Ministry of Defense of Georgia has shown some reluctance to release information about non-fatal casualties.[11] According to the information obtained by the Tbilisi-based Institute for Development of Freedom of Information from the ministry, 23 Georgian servicemen were wounded in 2010, 62 in 2011, 45 in 2012, and 4 more were wounded as of January 30, 2013.[12] The best known survivor is the highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel Alex Tugushi (born 1976), commander of the 31st Infantry Battalion, who lost both legs in a blast in December 2011.[13][14][15]

Timeline[edit]

Georgian casualties in Afghanistan by year
Year KIA WIA/Injured
2004
2007
2009
2010 5 23
2011 6 62
2012 8 45
2013 10 >40

Grand Total: 29 KIA, >120 WIA/injured

  • September 5, 2010 – First Lieutenant Mukhran Shukvani (born 1982), company commander of the 31st Infantry Battalion, was killed as a result of explosion of improvised explosive device.[16][17]
  • September 30, 2010 – Four servicemen with the 31st Infantry Battalion—Colonel Ramaz Gogiashvili (born 1967), Sergeant Davit Tsetskhladze (born 1975), Corporal Giorgi Kolkhitashvili (born 1989) and Corporal Nugzar Kalandadze (born 1989)—were killed in a mine explosion.[17][18]
  • February 21, 2011 – Corporal Giorgi Avaliani (born 1981) of the 32nd Infantry Battalion was killed in the Helmand province.[17][19]
  • March 5, 2011 – Corporal Valeri Verskiani (born 1979) of the 32nd Infantry Battalion was mortally wounded in a mine explosion and died on March 14, 2011, in a hospital in Germany.[17][20]
  • May 24, 2011 – Junior Sergeant Lavrosi Ivaniadze (born 1985) of the 33rd Infantry Battalion was killed in a mine explosion.[17][21]
  • June 18, 2011 – Private Gia Goguadze (born 1990) of the 33rd Infantry Battalion was mortally wounded in an insurgent attack.[17][22]
  • August 28, 2011 – Junior Sergeant Rezo Beridze (born 1979) of the 33rd Infantry Battalion was mortally wounded in an insurgent attack in the Helmand province.[17][23]
  • December 30, 2011 – Corporal Besik Niniashvili (born 1988) of the 31st Infantry Battalion was killed in a mine explosion.[17][24]
  • January 6, 2012 – Corporal Shalva Pailodze (born 1988) of the 31st Infantry Battalion was mortally wounded in an insurgent attack.[17][25]
  • February 21, 2012 – Three Georgian corporals with the 31st Infantry Battalion—Valiko Beraia (born 1987), Ruslan Meladze (born 1991), and Paata Kacharava (born 1975)—were killed in combat in the Helmand province.[17][26]
  • April 24, 2012 – Sergeant Valerian Khujadze (born 1976) of the 31st Infantry Battalion was killed in an improvised explosive device explosion.[17][27]
  • July 26, 2012 – Corporal Givi Pantsulaia (born 1984) of the 31st Infantry Battalion died of wounds suffered as a result of mortar shell explosion in Afghanistan in January 2012.[17][28]
  • October 10, 2012 – Corporal Mindia Abashidze (born 1989) of the 32nd Infantry Battalion was killed in combat.[17][29]
  • December 29, 2012 – Sergeant Giorgi Kikadze (born 1988) of the Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade, missing in action, was found dead, apparently "captured and shot", in the Helmand province.[17][30]
  • May 13, 2013 – Three servicemen from the 42nd Infantry Battalion—Corporal Aleksandre Kvitsinadze (born 1986), Junior Sergeant Zviad Davitadze (born 1979), and Corporal Vladimer Shanava (born 1989)—were killed in an insurgent attack on the ISAF base in Shir Ghazay.[1][17]
  • June 6, 2013 – Seven servicemen from the 42nd Infantry Battalion—corporal Teimuraz Ortavidze (born 1988), corporal Giorgi Adamov (born 1990), private first class Zurab Gurgenashvili (born 1980), private Mikheil Narindoshvili (born 1986), private Boris Tsugoshvili (born 1984), private first class Zviad Sulkhanishvili (born 1990), and private first class Giorgi Guchashvili (born 1990)—were killed in an insurgent attack with a truck bomb on the ISAF base in Shir Ghazay, while 9 were injured.[10][17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "MoD Releases Details on Georgian Troops Wounded in May 13 Helmand Attack". Civil Georgia. May 14, 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Georgia deploying 750 soldiers to Afghanistan". Hurriyet Daily News. Agence France-Presse. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "NATO's relations with Georgia". www.nato.int. NATO. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Bodies of 7 Georgian Soldiers, Killed in Afghanistan, Returned Home". Civil Georgia. June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d "სამშვიდობო მისია. ISAF" [Peacekeeping mission. ISAF]. mod.gov.ge (in Georgian). Ministry of Defense of Georgia. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "NATO and Georgia sign transit agreement". NATO Press Releases. March 2, 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Georgian Troops in Kabul Placed Under U.S. Command". Civil Georgia. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ "MoD: 1,571 Georgian Soldiers Serve in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Georgia Deployment Program". United States European Command. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Six Georgian Soldiers Die in Afghan Truck Bomb Attack". Civil Georgia. June 6, 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "93 Georgian Soldiers Wounded in Afghanistan in 2010-2012". Civil Georgia. January 7, 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "IDFI expresses condolences for fallen and injured Georgian servicemen". Institute for Development of Freedom of Information. May 16, 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Parrish, Karen (March 14, 2012). "Panetta Visits, Commends Georgian Troops in Afghanistan". American Forces Press Service. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "The President of Georgia decorated the Georgian soldier wounded in Afghanistan with the Order of Vakhtang Gorgasali". The Administration of the President of Georgia. February 2, 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  15. ^ Little, Bernard (May 31, 2012). "Georgian Battalion Commander Recovering At Medical Center Awarded Bronze Star". Comprint Military Publications. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Georgian Soldier Killed, Another Wounded in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. September 5, 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "War Heroes". mod.gov.ge. Ministry of Defense of Georgia. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Four Georgian Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. October 1, 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Georgian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. February 22, 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Georgian Soldier Succumbs Afghan Injuries". Civil Georgia. March 14, 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Georgian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. May 27, 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "Georgian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. June 21, 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Tenth Georgia Soldier Killed in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. September 1, 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "Eleventh Georgian Soldier Dies in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. December 31, 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Twelfth Georgia Soldier Killed in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. January 7, 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "Three Georgian Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. February 22, 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Sixteenth Georgian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. April 25, 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "Georgian Soldier Succumbs to Injuries Suffered in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. July 30, 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "Eighteenth Georgian Soldier Dies in Afghanistan". Civil Georgia. October 12, 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  30. ^ "Missing Georgian Soldier in Afghanistan was 'Captured' and 'Shot Dead'". Civil Georgia. December 31, 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013.