Georgia is marking an anniversary of its armed forces today, with celebrations held in recognition of the troops and professionals serving among its ranks.
This year’s April 30 date marks 26 years since conscription to the fledgling independent Georgian army was established in 1991. The date is marked as Armed Forces Day annually.
Formal celebrations were held earlier today at the I Infantry Brigade base in central Georgian city Gori, with officials and military commanders in attendance.
The ceremony involved address from the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who took the opportunity to congratulate the 11th Infantry Battalion of the brigade with safe return from their peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan on Saturday.
The Georgian army has played a very important role in the process of the development of independent and democratic Georgia [...] You serve the most honourable duty on earth and have greatest love of our people”, noted Kvirikashvili while addressing the unit.
Georgia’s PM and defence minister also decorated the Gori base monument for troops fallen during their service for the country, and took part in an exhibition of military hardware at the site.
The base also hosted cultural and sporting events to celebrate the date, with family members of troops, local government officials and elementary school students taking part.
Formal celebrations were marked at the I Infantry Brigade base in Gori. Photo: Ministry of Defence of Georgia's press office
Georgian troops serving in peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, Central African Republic and Mali also received congratulations from defence minister Izoria today.
Georgia being a state with international prestige and honour is due to your contribution in the first place. You are the decisive force in the process of [Georgia’s] integration into the Euro-Atlantic space”, Izoria told the service members via a video address.
The peacekeepers were also thanked for their service by Chief of the General Staff of Armed Forces Brigadier General Vladimer Chachibaia, while unit commanders deployed in peacekeeping missions also reported to their superiors in Georgia about current conditions in their areas of operation.
Officials and commanders decorated the base's monument of fallen troops. Photo: Ministry of Defence of Georgia's press office
The National Guard was the first defence unit of Georgia, established during the country’s struggle for independence in the early 1990s.
It was established in December 1990 by a resolution adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia.
On April 24, 1991, Georgia’s Cabinet of Ministers issued a decree to recruit the country’s youth for compulsory military service. Conscription into the Army officially launched on April 30 of that year.