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Main phase of Russian-Tajik anti-terrorist drills begins in Tajikistan

March 14, 2016, 11:25 UTC+3 DUSHANBE

The Russian-Tajikistani joint aviation group comprises Tu-22M3 strategic bombers, Su-25SM fighters, Su-24M bombers, combat helicopters, as well as forces and facilities of Tajikistan’s Air Force

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© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

DUSHANBE, March 14. /TASS/. The main stage of the joint command and staff exercises involving units of the Russian and Tajikistani armed forces is beginning at four ranges in Tajikistan on Monday, Colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin, an aide to the Russian Central Military District commander, told TASS.

"Drills with the use of modern automation equipment for information exchange between the headquarters’ command and control posts, including with Russia’s National Defense Control Centre have been conducted," the official said.

The change of the deployment areas of the command and alternate command posts has been conducted. The total length of the redeployment route exceeded 20,000 kilometers.

On Sunday, the Central Military District completed redeployment of Russian aircraft involved in the maneuvers to tactical airfields in Tajikistan.

The Russian-Tajikistani joint aviation group comprises the Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range missile carrying bombers, Sukhoi Su-25SM strike-fighters, Su-24M frontline bombers, Mi-24 attack helicopters and Mi-8 transport-combat helicopters, as well as forces and facilities of Tajikistan’s Air Force. The task of the established group is to ensure the deployment and actions of troops at the Lyaur, Kharb-Maidon, Momirak and Khalkayor ranges. "The bodies of military administration of the Defense Ministry of Tajikistan and Russia’s Central Military District, motorized infantry, armored and artillery units, special forces, airborne and air assault groups are involved in the maneuvers", Roshchupkin said.

According to the Tajikistani Defense Ministry’s press center, the joint anti-terrorism exercises involve up to 50,000 troops and reservists of the country’s Armed Forces.

As spokesman for the Tajikistani Defense Ministry Faridun Makhmadalizoda previously said, "for the first time in the history of military cooperation between Tajikistan and Russia, the drills involve not only the servicemen of Russia’s 201st military base but also additional manpower and military hardware of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Central Military District, which have already arrived in the area of anti-terror drills." He said: "the purpose of the joint exercise is to improve interaction of the Russian and Tajik armed forces, to check their readiness to respond to terrorist attacks from outside at a southern border of the CIS."

The drills are held in accordance with a decree by Tajikistani President Emomali Rakhmon on implementing measures for organizing the country’s territorial defense. The drills are supervised by Tajikistani Defense Minister Sherali Mirzo. Also, a group of observers from Russia’s Central Military District led by District Deputy Commander Lieutenant-General Khasan Kaloyev are monitoring the drills.

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