The Invictus Games Sydney 2018 will feature more than 500 competitors from a record 18 participating allied nations. The 17 nations so far confirmed are listed below with the 18th nation to be announced in coming weeks.
Since 2001, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military alliance has helped to rebuild the Afghan Armed Forces to combat Taliban resurgence. As Afghanistan is a landlocked country, the military consists of an army and air force only, and has more than 200,000 active soldiers. Afghanistan has been represented at previous Games by teams of less than 10 competitors but compete enthusiastically and proudly nonetheless.
Canadian forces were an ally to Great Britain during the First and Second World Wars and have since been committed to multilateral military action. Canadian troops were part of the war in Afghanistan and contributed to the rebuilding of Iraq after the 2003 invasion by the US-led coalition. There are approximately 68,000 regular force and 51,000 reserve force personnel across the Canadian army, navy and air force.
Danish soldiers have participated in UN missions since 1948, the year before Denmark became a NATO member. Denmark, which employs an army of approximately 20,000 service personnel, sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001 and has since been part of the International Security Assistance Force, working closely with the UK.
The French Armed Forces number more than 220,000 and have participated in many peacekeeping missions including Afghanistan. The French army has a long history of military cooperation with Great Britain and will undoubtedly be looking forward to some friendly competition at the Games.
The Georgian Armed Forces were established in 1991 after independence was declared from the former Soviet Union. They have been participating in international peacekeeping missions ever since, joining the US-led coalition forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force operation in Afghanistan. Georgia’s military consists of approximately 37,000 active personnel.
The Iraqi Armed Forces are the military forces of the Government of Iraq. They consist of the army, air force and navy. The Iraqi team debuted at the Orlando Games after declining an offer to compete in the inaugural London Games.
A founding nation of NATO and the EU, Italy is engaged in many of the NATO and European Defence initiatives and have been deployed to many international assistance operations.
The Jordanian Armed Forces, also referred to as the Arab Army, is under direct control of the King of Jordan who is the commander-in-chief. With approximately 110,000 members, it is considered to be among the most professional, well-trained and well-organised outfits in the region. Jordanian forces have been integral to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), founded in the mid-1990s, focusing on both internal security in support of the Middle East peace process and border security.
New Zealand’s military is involved in peacekeeping and observer missions, employing nearly 14,000 people. This includes 8,000 regular force, 2,200 reserve force and 2,000 civil staff members across the navy, army and air force. Troops were sent to Afghanistan in 2001 and took part in operations to rebuild Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion.
Totaling 260,000 personnel, the Ukrainian army is now among the largest forces in Europe, with several thousand soldiers on active duty. Since 1992, Ukrainian forces have been actively engaged in multiple exercises and peacekeeping missions under UN and NATO command across Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa
There are more than 200,000 active personnel in the British military and approximately 180,000 reservists, making it the second largest military in the EU. British troops have played a key role in peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The United States Armed Forces has more than two million members. Their commitment to and promotion of adaptive sports opportunities through the founding of the Warrior Games in 2010 and participation in the Invictus Games since 2014, encourage wounded, injured and ill service members and veterans to lead more fulfilling lives.