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
- 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 and possibly Azerbaijan, and was produced in the Ukraine.
- 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.
- 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.
- The standard camouflage uniform of the Georgian Armed Forces beginning circa 2008 was 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 is worn. Theoretically, the pattern does not include the EGA embedded into the design. By 2014, both variations of the pattern were all but depleted from supply stocks and are not scheduled to be replaced.
- Personnel from the Special Forces Brigade of the Georgian Army began wearing a copy of US-designed Multicam circa 2009, right around the time they first deployed to Afghanistan. This variation of the design has since been adopted by the entire Armed Forces and will replace the previous copies of MARPAT.
- 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.
- A contingent of Georgian military personnel served with the UN mission to Kosovo in 2005 (KFOR), deploying in ex-German Army flecktarn camouflage uniforms.
- 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.
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.
- 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..
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.