YEREVAN—About 2,000 servicemen from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan began four days of military exercises of the Collective Security Treaty Organization at Armenia’s Marshal Baghramian military headquarters outside of Yerevan.
The soldiers are practicing military tactics for providing security in Caucasus. The maneuvers replicate rapid deployment force repelling enemy attacks in the mountains. The soldiers are backed by tanks, aircraft and other military hardware and are participating in operations against what organizers called “irregular military units.”
The exercises come a month before more comprehensive military exercises scheduled for October in Russia, known as “Cooperation 2012.”
The CSTO united commander Major General Anatoly Yakovlev told a press conferece Saturday that the exercises were aimed to improve CSTO member states’ administrative bodies and the participating troops would train in use of drones.
”Great attention will be paid to air defenses, ”said Yakovlev, who outlined that the exercises would conclude on Sept. 19.
The CSTO press secretary Vladimir Zaynutdinov was quick to point out that the exercises were planned in December and had nothing to do with current conflicts going on in the Middle East.
In his opening remarks, Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said the exercises would contribute to the further development of military cooperation and mutual understanding between CSTO member-states and its Collective Operational Reaction Forces.
A statement issued by the CSTO press office said that forces from Russia and Belarus parachuted to the ground on Monday to simulate an attack on invading “irregular armed groups.” They struck the imaginary enemy with the help of Kazakh commandos and heavy fire from multiple-launch rocket systems, attack helicopters and military aircraft.
“Detachments of a special forces brigade of the Armenian armed forces, which are part of the CORF, surrounded ‘the enemy’ and completed the rout, pushing the remaining [enemy fighters] out of the state border,” said the statement.
The statement added that the exercise demonstrated a “high degree of coordination among CORF contingents.” A separate statement issued by the Armenian Defense Ministry also praised the joint training.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization was signed in 1992, May 15. Armenia, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are among CSTO member states.