The reform of the Coast guard is one of the most successful reforms within the system of the MIA. By the end of 2008, in line with the recommendations of different international experts, in order to optimize State recourses and improve the effectiveness of Maritime forces, the Coast Guard and MoD Navy have been integrated into the one maritime force as the Coast Guard under the MIA Border Police of Georgia. The MIA Border Police Coast Guard Department was formed as multifunctional maritime agency, which independently or in co-operation with other relevant agencies involved in control of the legal regime of the Territorial Waters of Georgia, carries out maritime defence, border police, legal and administrative activities, conducts search and rescue operations and protects the maritime environment. At the time of martial law the coast guard carries out the Navy functions.
The State Border management strategy, which is based on the Integrated Border Management model, is considered as the basic action document. The aim of the document is the coordination and cooperation among all the relevant authorities and agencies involved in border and maritime security, support of international commerce and regional border cooperation.
The Coast Guard of the Border Police of Georgia actively cooperates with the other entities of the state border defence and maritime security, as well as the State and local governmental bodies of Georgia.
In spite of the heavy consequences of the Russian aggression of 2008, the infrastructure of the Coast Guard Department of the Border Police of Georgia has been fully rehabilitated. Coast guard boats have been modernized. The modern radar stations of the coast guard cover the whole coast line of Georgia, as well as territorial waters and exclusive economic zone of Georgia.
FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE COAST GUARD
For the further improvement of the department, the coast guard system is being constantly developed. The development of the CG Poti and Batumi bases and of the radar stations is already planned; the patrol boats are being renovated, some of them are modernized and the others, the older ones –replaced. Permanent training and retraining of the coast guard personnel is the issue of priority.
JOINT MARITIME OPERATIONS CENTER
With the assistance of the friendly countries the Joint Maritime Operations Center is to be created. The JMOC is an effective Intra- and Inter-Agency means of cooperation that will improve the capability of the national agencies to secure the Georgia’s maritime safety.
The main task of the center is to prevent and detect illicit acts and maritime incidents in the Maritime Space of Georgia and coordinate collaborative responses to those challenges in order to secure the regional stability. The center, being the coordinator of joint maritime operations, will be established under the Coast Guard Department of the MIA Border Police of Georgia and will be equipped with joint management, control, communications and maritime surveillance systems and corresponding infrastructure.
DEVELOPMENT OF REPAIRING CAPACITIES
The maritime infrastructure, its technical assistance and operational capacities are improved with the assistance of the donor countries. Repair facility for ships has been open which is currently being equipped with relevant machinery, tools and equipment. After the retraining of the technical personnel the coast guard department will be able to repair and maintain its own patrol boats.
Constriction of the boat basins for GCG vessels are planned at radar stations and poti and Batumi Bases to improve the GCG interdiction capabilities and secure the country’s maritime safety.