Georgian soldiers participating in the ISAF mission celebrated New Year in Afghanistan. The Batumi Separate Light Infantry and the 31st Battalions of the GAF met New Year at the military base Leatherneck.
New Year and Christmas in Afghanistan
Thursday, January 9
Command of the "Task Force Belleau Wood” and commanders of coalition countries attended the solemn reception together with Georgian servicemen at the staff of 31st Battalion.
Georgian soldiers congratulated the guests on New Year with a concert. A folk ensemble manned by Georgian military performed Georgian folk songs and dances. At the ceremony 18 servicemen won in the sport and intellectual contests were awarded with valuable gifts and certificates. Commander of the 31st Battalion LTC Giorgi Meshveliani awarded 30 soldiers with service medals “Devoted to the Homeland” for their merit in strengthening defence capability of the country.
On the 7th of January, when the Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas, Chief of General Staff of GAF, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze arrived in Afghanistan to celebrate Christmas with the Georgian servicemen.
Deputy Defence Minister Irakli Gegechkori, Deputy Chief of General Staff, Col. Roman Jokhadze and Commander of I Infantry Brigade, LTC Giorgi Shengelia offered his Christmas wishes to the 31st Battalion of GAF in the province of Helmand.
The leadership of General Staff of GAF attended a Christmas liturgy together with Georgian military at the Georgian chapel located on the base. Chaplain of the 31st Battalion, Father Avtandil carried out the religious service.
Chief of General Staff, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze awarded the military servicemen of the 31st Battalion with medals.
While visiting Helmand Province, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze held meetings with Commanding General of Regional Command Southwest Major-General Walter Miller and Command of the "Task Force Belleau Wood”, Colonel Daniel Sullivan. The guests expressed gratitude to the Georgian side for their contribution in the stabilization operation in Afghanistan. As American military leadership declared, Georgian has a professional military and their participation in the mission is very essential for the coalition forces.
Georgian military servicemen participate in the ISAF international mission under the U.S. command. They perform a full range of operations along with the American marines for over 6 months. Their main tasks are fighting against terrorism, patrolling in order to protect the local population within their area of operation and arranging check-points.