Members of Russia-led security bloc completes one more joint counterterrorism exercise in Tajikistan
On Saturday October 23, member nations of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) completed another joint counterterrorism training exercise in Tajikistan near the border with Afghanistan.
The exercise, dubbed Vzaimodeystviye 2021 (Interaction 2021), was conducted for the CSTO collective rapid reaction forces at the Harb-Maidon training field in Qubodiyon district of Khatlon province.
Servicemen participating in the Vzaimodeystviye 2021 exercise practiced missions to localize a border conflict in the Central Asian regions. The exercise’s scenario was based on columns of vehicles transporting militants across the border from Afghanistan into Tajikistan.
As part of the drills, two Soviet-era Aero L-39 Albatros trainer jets from Tajikistan's Air Force conducted air reconnaissance over the Harb-Maidon training ground about 20 kilometers from the border with Afghanistan.
They spotted two mock columns of militants' vehicles and relayed coordinates to a border guard detachment from Tajikistan's State National Security Committee (SCNS). The Tajik border guards were deployed to intercept the mock enemy vehicles. CSTO special forces were also deployed in the drill, using grenade launchers and assault rifles.
It was the third in a series of CSTO drills near Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan. Altogether, the CSTO drills involved 4,000 troops and more than 500 military vehicles.
The drills were conducted at the Harb-Maidon and Momirak training grounds near the Tajik-Afghan border under the direction of the Russian Central Military District Commander, Colonel-General Alexander Lapin.
CSTO members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
Russia has military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and it has vowed to defend Moscow's allies in Central Asia against any security threat from Afghanistan.
In August, Russia completed joint military exercises with Tajik and Uzbek troops near the border with Afghanistan, which followed smaller Russian-Uzbek maneuvers along the Uzbek-Afghan border.