Russian military maintains security at three-nation exercise on Afghan border

YEKATERINBURG (TASS): Russia’s special military group maintains the security of command centers at the Russian-Tajik-Uzbek exercise, being held against the backdrop of destabilization in Afghanistan. The drills are underway at the Kharb-Maidon proving ground 20 kilometers away from the Afghan border, the press service of the Central Military Region said.

“The personnel of Russia’s 201st military base maintain the comprehensive security of field command centers in the course of a joint exercise by military contingents from Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. For this, a special group was created to operate on its own and together with the combat forces of mechanized infantry and reconnaissance, armor, artillery and other units. The group incorporates radio-electronic warfare crews and air defense, UAV, communication and guard units,” the news release runs.

The press service said that during the exercise proper the military personnel concerned would provide radio-electronic protection of field units and mobile command centers from a hypothetical enemy’s reconnaissance, means of targeting smart weapons, and attack drones.

The Central Military Region said the drills were being held against a backdrop of destabilization in neighboring Afghanistan with the aim of practicing countermeasures against likely threats and cooperation in maintaining the security and stability of the Central Asian region.

Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization defense ministers in Dushanbe the participating countries would practice operations to eliminate armed gangs, conduct air reconnaissance and guard crucial facilities. A total of 2,500 officers and men are involved, including 1,800 from Russia, and about 500 pieces of military hardware. The 201st military base provided the bulk of the Russian contingent. The exercise will last till August 10.