Georgia

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Georgia

Georgia (საქართველო) is a sovereign country in the Caucasus region of Asia, but from 1936 until 1991 was a socialist republic (GSSR) within the Soviet Union (USSR). Typical Soviet-designed camouflage patterns were employed until 1992, when variations unique to the region and the Georgian Armed Forces were introduced. Beginning in 2001, a variety of foreign-produced camouflage designs began to see short periods of service, including surplus uniforms from the USA, Germany and Turkey. Today the Georgian Armed Forces (საქართველოს შეიარაღებული ძალები, or Sak’art’velos Sheiaraghebuli Dzalebi) employ Asian-made copies of contemporary US patterns such as MARPAT and Multicam.

Georgian Camouflage Patterns

  • A holdover from the Soviet era, the use of solnechnye zaychiki or berezkha pattern camouflage uniforms with some Georgian military units continued well into the 1990s, and as late as 2007-2008 by special units of the Army and Police.

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  • The armed forces of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic have been documented as wearing a brown variant of the Soviet TTsKO tricolor woodland pattern. Uniforms were probably made in Russian or Ukrainian factories. Other variants of the TTsKO may well have been used.
  • Between 1992 and 1995, variations of the Russian dubok (little oak) or VSR pattern camouflage were worn by Georgia. Again, these were probably imported from Russian or Ukrainian factories and not locally produced.
  • First documented during the fighting in Abkhazia (1992-93), a unique “swirl” camouflage pattern is known to have been worn by some units of the Georgian armed forces. A dark green and brown swirled pattern on a khaki background, the uniforms were produced in Ukraine and were also exported to Moldova.
  • Another variation of the Soviet TTsKO tricolor pattern was also first documented during this period. This pattern, having dark green and brown whorled shapes on a khaki background, was also worn by Moldova, Tajikistan and possibly Azerbaijan. Produced in the Ukraine, the camouflage design is sometimes referred to as “Transnistrian pattern.”
  • Between 2001 and 2007, Georgian soldiers were frequently photographed wearing US m81 woodland pattern uniforms, including the PASGT helmet cover and M65 field jacket. Although many of the initial uniforms were obtained from the United States (USA), it is also very plausible that some of the later production runs were from the Ukraine or China.
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  • Photographs from 2001 show Georgian soldiers wearing a BDU-style field uniform and cap made from Chinese woodland pattern camouflage fabric. It is theorized the uniforms were made for export in China.

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  • Beginning around 2008, the standard camouflage uniform of the Georgian Armed Forces became a copy of the US Marine Corps temperate MARPAT digital design. For deployments to arid or desert environments, a copy of the desert MARPAT camouflage pattern was adopted. Neither pattern includes the EGA embedded into the design, and the color palettes are slightly different to those used by the US Marine Corps. By 2014, both variations of the pattern were all but depleted from supply stocks and are not scheduled to be replaced.
  • Also introduced around 2008, and in use with special units of the Georgian State Security Service as well as units of the State Protection Service, is the the Universal Camouflage Pattern formerly adopted by the United States Army.

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  • Personnel from the Special Forces Brigade of the Georgian Army began wearing a copy of US-designed Multicam circa 2009, right around the time the unit first deployed to Afghanistan. This variation of the design has since been adopted by the entire Armed Forces and has replaced the previously issued copy of MARPAT.

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  • A commercial variation of the Italian vegetata temperate camouflage pattern is currently worn by the Border Protection troops.

Other Camouflage Patterns worn by Georgia

  • Some elements of the Georgian armed forces in 2001 also wore Turkish surplus uniforms in the “elongated leaf” pattern. It is unknown how long the uniforms remained in service.
  • Circa 2001-2003, certain special units of the Georgian Armed Forces wore the US-issue Desert Battledress Uniforms or DBDU in its distinctive “chocolate chip” (six color) camouflage pattern.
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  • A small contingent of Georgian military personnel served with the UN mission to Kosovo in 2005 (KFOR) under command of the German contingent, and wore German Army issue flecktarn camouflage uniforms with appropriate Georgian and KFOR insignia.

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  • Between 2005 and 2008, the Georgian contingents operating in Afghanistan (OEF) and Iraq (OIF) deployed wearing surplus US military issue tricolor desert pattern camouflage uniforms.

South Ossetia

Also known as the Tskhinvali Region, South Ossetia is a disputed region in the Republic of Georgia that declared its independence in 1990, calling itself the Republic of South Ossetia. Following shortly after the declaration of independence, the Georgian government attempted to regain control over the region by force, which led to the South Ossetia War (1991-92). Combat resumed in 2004, and again in 2008, which sparked the Russia-Georgian War and resulted in Ossetian and Russian forces gaining complete control of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. Only Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru have recognized this independence. It is now considered a region of “frozen conflict,” although a separate military force is maintained under the control of the Ossetian government. Georgia maintains that this region is under Russian occupation and still considers it a Georgian territory.

South Ossetian military forces are largely supplied and outfitted by Russia.

  • Ground Forces have traditionally worn the “Flora” or Arbuz (watermelon) pattern camouflage pattern.

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  • Also worn by Ground Forces is the единая маскировочная расцветка (Edinaya maskirovochnaya rascvetka) or EMR pattern, often called “digital flora” or nicknamed Tsifra or Tetris in Russian.
  • Border Guard personnel wear the same pixelated design as the Russian FSB Border Guard Service..
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Abkhazia

Abkhazia is another disputed region located on the Eastern Coast of the Black Sea in the Republic of Georgia. Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, disputes between Abkhaz and Georgian ethnic groups over independence led to the 1992-93 War in Abkhazia, in which Georgian forces were defeated and ethnic Georgian were forced out of the region. A ceasefire was instituted in 1994, but military conflict was sparked again during the 2008 South Ossetia War. The region is now considered a “frozen conflict.” Only Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru recognize the independence of Abkhazia; Georgia considers it a part of its own territory, currently occupied by Russia.

The Armed Forces of Abkhazia are supplied by Russia and are outfitted similarly to Russian forces.

  • The standard uniform of Abkhazian Ground Forces is the “Flora” or Arbuz (watermelon) pattern camouflage pattern.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>