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CSTO post-Soviet security bloc begins drill near Russia’s Pskov

August 23, 2015, 14:03 UTC+3 PSKOV
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PSKOV, August 23. /TASS/. The Collective Rapid Reaction Force (KSOR) of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) begins drill dubbed Interaction 2015 in Russia’s Pskov region.

"The drill is in the east-European region," CSTO’s deputy head, Col.-Gen. Valery Semarikov said on Sunday. "One of the main tasks is to have our forces ready within hours to arrive to a region of collective security."

CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha will take part in the active phase of the Interaction 2015 drills. The manoeuvres will involve about 2,000 troops, over 200 pieces of the armour and about 40 aircraft and helicopters of military transport and army aviation. The exercises will be held on the Strugi Krasniye central training range of the Russian Airborne Force in the Pskov region in northwest Russia and at the Kresty aerodrome on August 23-28.

The exercises aim to improve coordination among CSTO KSOR command bodies in the preparation of a joint operation and troops’ control during its conduct, the CSTO press office said.

Two Russian airborne units will for the first time participate simultaneously in the Interaction-2015 military drills of the rapid reaction forces organized by the CSTO member states, Russian Airborne Force Commander, Col.-Gen. Vladimir Shamanov said on Wednesday.

Since the CSTO rapid reaction force was established in 2009, "the drills will for the first time involve the simultaneous participation of about 1,000 paratroopers from two Airborne Force units stationed in Ivanovo and Ulyanovsk: the 98th Guards Airborne Division and the 31st Guards Separate Air Assault [Peacekeeping] Brigade," Shamanov said.

Joint headquarters comprising over 100 officers have been established to exercise control of the manoeuvres, he said.

"The headquarters composition is multinational and includes representatives of all member states," the Russian Airborne Force commander said.

During the exercises, the CSTO rapid reaction force will practise a joint operation to localize an armed conflict to restore the territorial integrity and protect the constitutional order of a simulated member state, missions to destroy irregular armed formations, accomplish assignments for eliminating the consequences of emergency situations and carrying out search and special measures, Shamanov said.

The Interaction drills are organised yearly since 2009 in either of the CSTO member states. Russia hosted the drills in 2010 at training grounds in the Southern Urals.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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