Georgia commits to post-2014 Afghanistan mission

A clearing operation dubbed "Griffon III" by Georgian troops in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Photo, 25 Jul 2014 - 14:55, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia has pledged to contribute hundreds of troops to NATO’s post-2014 mission in Afghanistan after the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission officially ends at the end of the year.

Georgia’s Defence Minister Irakli Alasania today announced 750 Georgian soldiers will be deployed in two Afghan cities and contribute to the non-combat mission.

A company-size unit and a Battalion will be deployed in Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan and will serve under German command, while the remaining troops will be stationed under US command in the ancient city of Bagram, where the largest US military contingent is currently deployed.

"[We have been conducting] military trainings of Georgian troops. Their combat readiness and the military equipment they have gives us hope that our mission will be successful in Afghanistan, as the previous one was,” Alasania said today at a hearing within the joint Parliamentary committee on ministerial candidacies following the major Governmental shake-up.

At the hearing Minister Alasania spoke about the newly established rehabilitation centre that had been built specifically for soldiers injured while serving their country.

"This year we allocated 100 million GEL from the budget for the families who had loved ones killed during their actions in international operations,” Alasania said.

Twenty-nine Georgian soldiers died and hundreds more were injured while serving in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Latest ISAF figures revealed all 29 Georgian soldiers were killed in action in the Helmand province. In addition, 435 Georgian soldiers were wounded in action, including 35 who had to have limbs amputated.

The last contingent of Georgian soldiers to serve in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan returned home earlier this week.