EDELWEISS SHOOTING RANGE (KYRGYZSTAN), October 4. /TASS/. The joint tactical training drills of the Central Asian rapid deployment forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have begun on Monday at the Edelweiss military shooting range in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan, a TASS correspondent reports.
The Russian, Kazakh and Kyrgyz militaries have participated in the opening ceremony of the drills dubbed the Rubezh-2016 (or Frontier-2016). The ceremony began with raising the national flags and performing the national anthems of the six CSTO member states. "We have done a lot of preparatory work. These drills are going to complete one year of joint military training. In 2016, Tajikistan, Belarus and Russia held these military exercises, now it is Kyrgyzstan’s turn to host the joint drills," the Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff, Colonel General Anatoly Sidorov said.
"At present, the joint rapid deployment forces constitute the units of constant readiness that ensure the region’s stability. By conducting joint military drills, we have been able to boost the ‘brothers in arms’ sentiment between our countries and learn to conduct joint anti-terrorist operations," Kyrgyzstan’s First Deputy Chief of the General Staff Colonel Kubanychbek Orozmatov noted.
The Rubezh-2016 military drills are being held at the Edelweiss mountainous shooting range from October 4 to 7. The drills involve more than one thousand troops from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia as well as personnel from Kyrgyzstan’s Interior Ministry and Emergencies Ministry. Eight aircraft and 6 helicopters from Russia’s Central Military District, 4 Sukhoi Su-25s and 4 Mikoyan Mi-8 helicopters have been deployed at the Kant airbase in Kyrgyzstan and are also participating in the exercise. Russian troops taking part in the drills are composed of the recently formed 55th Independent Mountain Mobile Brigade of the Central Military District.