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Moscow-led bloc to engage over 5,000 troops in Combat Brotherhood drills in Tajikistan

The post-Soviet security bloc’s drills will bring together over 700 items of armament, military and special hardware

MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Over 5,000 troops will participate in the Combat Brotherhood 2021 drills of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Tajikistan, Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff Colonel General Anatoly Sidorov announced on Thursday.

"The participants in the joint operational and strategic exercise Combat Brotherhood that will accomplish assignments as part of the CSTO (Collective Forces’) Troops will total over 5,000 personnel," the general said.

The post-Soviet security bloc’s drills will bring together over 700 items of armament, military and special hardware, including more than 650 motor and armored vehicles, up to 20 aircraft, in particular, Su-24MR and Su-25 planes, over 20 Mi-8MTV and Mi-24 helicopters and also 15 unmanned aerial vehicles of various modifications and designation, he specified.

The CSTO will also hold Echelon 2021 special drills with its logistic support forces on the territory of Tajikistan in the Central Asian region to practice the tasks of troop provision in preparing and carrying out a joint operation and the Poisk (Search) special maneuvers with its reconnaissance forces and capabilities to focus on organizing and conducting reconnaissance in preparing and holding a joint operation, the general said.

The Moscow-led bloc will also hold Interaction 2021 drills with its Collective Operational Response Forces to practice preparing and carrying out a joint operation to contain a border armed conflict, he added.

Each of the drills that will be held as part of the Combat Brotherhood exercise will engage military contingents from all of the six CSTO member states. They will also involve special operations forces, the ministries and agencies concerned that helps practice a broad range of tasks in the course of drills and map out the ways of further improving the joint training of the CSTO command centers and collective forces, the general said.

Preparations for the drills

The CSTO member states are currently relocating their military contingents to the areas of the drills on the territory of Tajikistan. Military transport planes from the armed forces of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia will perform over 35 flights. Some troops will conduct marches to the territory of Tajikistan or will be transported by railways.

On October 18-23, the CSTO joint forces will practice assignments at the Momirak and Kharbmaidon training grounds to prepare and conduct a joint operation for containing a border armed conflict in the Central Asian collective security region related to the attempts by militants of international terrorist organizations to infiltrate the territory of the bloc’s states.

Scenarios of the drills

The CSTO’s Combat Brotherhood 2021 operational and strategic maneuvers will focus on potential scenarios of developments at the Tajik-Afghan border, Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff Colonel General Sidorov said.

"In working out the scenarios of the drills and the procedure of carrying them out, we had to take potential developments at the Tajik-Afghan border into account," the general stressed.

The chief of the CSTO Joint Staff said he was confident that the bloc’s collective forces that would take the worst-case scenario into account in the course of the drills would not face it in a real situation at the border of the two countries.