The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) alliance is currently conducting military training in Tajikistan.
According to CSTO Deputy Secretary General Valery Semerikov, Tajikistan was chosen due to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. In fact, the exercise is aimed at countering a possible invasion of terrorist groups from Afghanistan.
The training will take part in mountainous terrain where there will be combat simulations.
The exercise scenario includes a Russian reconnaissance group on all-terrain vehicles that will discover an enemy position—most likely a reconnaissance force or an advance party—far from the enemy’s main force.
Su-25 Frogfoots will then conduct unguided missiles airstrikes against the target to prevent a tactical withdrawal to rejoin the main force.
The CSTO drills will also include “coordination of electronic warfare units, work on protecting communications, as well as special drills for paratroopers practicing landing in mountain and desert terrain.”
According to the TASS News Agency, the exercise will be conducted near the Tajik-Afghan border, commonly known as the Panj frontier.
Tajikistan’s Defense Ministry Faridun Makhmadaliev said earlier today that the CSTO rapid reaction force has completed the first stage of anti-terrorism drills after arriving in the area of Tajik-Afghan border. “The drills covered the considerable part of the ‘Panj frontier’ – from Shaartuz, in the vicinity of which one of the largest military training grounds Kharbmaidan is located, to Tajik Badashkhan,” Makhmadaliev noted. The total length of the Tajik-Afghan border is 1,344 kilometers, with the Panj river forming much of the border between the two countries. “We have already defined the defense line which will be used in case of an attack and where a threat may come from,” the spokesman added.
The CSTO exercise includes more than 2,500 troops, approximately 200 vehicles, 20 combat aircraft and helicopters and 30 military transport aircraft.
Comprised of six members, the CSTO is a military alliance acting as a counterpart to the NATO alliance.
- Current members of the CSTO:
- Armenia (1994)
- Belarus (1994)
- Kazakhstan (1994)
- Kyrgyzstan (1994)
- Russia (1994)
- Tajikistan (1994)
- Afghanistan (2013)
- Serbia (2013)
- Possible candidates
- Former members
- Azerbaijan (1994-1999)
- Georgia (1994-1999)
- Uzbekistan (1994-1999, 2006-2012)