Republic of Kazakhstan
The Republic of Kazakhstan (Қазақстан Республикасы) is an independent Central Asian republic, formerly a part of the Soviet Union. The nation declared itself independent on 16 December, 1991.
The Armed Forces of Kazakhstan (Қазақстанның Қарулы күштері/Qazaqstannıñ Qarwlı küşteri) were largely inherited from the Turkestan Military District of the USSR, but have been restructured and re-fitted in the years since the country was declared independent. In addition to the ground forces of the Army, Air & Air Defense units, and a small Naval force based on the Caspian, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has its own Internal Troops (including a number of special operations units). A Republican Guard unit of approximately 2500 personnel was formed in 1994. Airmobile forces (paratroops/air assault) consist of at least three brigades.
Camouflage Patterns of Kazakhstan
- At the time the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan were initially formed, Soviet-era uniforms were still being issued. Of these, the Soviet VSR pattern seems to have survived the longest.
- Units of the Airmobile forces and Ministry of Internal Affairs special troops have also continued to wear the solnechnye zaychiki (sunshine rays) lightweight camouflage uniforms into the present era.
- In the mid-1990s, the Kazakh Armed Forces began wearing locally-made copies of the US m81 woodland camouflage pattern, cut in typical Soviet-style uniforms. Some of these uniforms were also imported from China.
- A variant of the woodland pattern having elongated shapes (in many ways, more akin to leaf patterns) emerged in the early 2000s. As with earlier uniforms, the style remained typical of the Soviet design. Color variations have been noted, including the second type incorporating more earthy, arid colors
- A desert camouflage pattern based on the US six-colour "Chocolate Chip" design also emerged in the early 2000s, Initially worn by Kazakh military personnel deployed to Iraq, the design has seen service in various arid regions and even on training exercises with units such as the Airborne Forces. Several mild color variations have been documented, and uniforms are believed to have been made locally and also imported from East Asian factories.
- The Ministry of Internal Affairs wear an "urban" or blue woodland camouflage design, incorporating black, dark blue-grey & mid blue-grey woodland shapes on a pale blue background.
- Kazakhstan introduced its own digital camouflage pattern for arid regions around 2008-2009, having grey and light green shapes on a tan background.
- The Peacekeeping Battalion (KAZBAT) participating in the Steppe Eagle 2014 exercise was outfitted in Russian SS-Leto pattern camouflage uniforms. It is uncertain if this is a standard issue outfit for peacekeeping troops, or particular to this year's deployment.
- Members of the State Forest Guard wear uniforms similar to those of the Armed Forces in both leaf and woodland designs.