MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Over 4,000 troops from the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) kicked off Echelon, Search and Interaction special drills in Tajikistan near the Afghan border, the post-Soviet security bloc announced on its website on Monday.
"A ceremony took place at the Kharbmaidon practice range of the armed forces of the Republic of Tajikistan on October 18 to open the Echelon 2021 and Search 2021 special drills and the Interaction 2021 joint maneuvers as part of the CSTO’s Combat Brotherhood 2021 exercise," the statement says.
Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan Lieutenant General Emomali Sobirzoda pointed out at the opening ceremony that the situation in the Central Asian region remained tense amid the latest developments in Afghanistan and tended to aggravate.
"We pay special attention to the Central Asian region. The situation around the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan remains the main source of instability. This is why we are holding three drills simultaneously for the first time as part of the joint training," Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff Colonel General Anatoly Sidorov said for his part.
The CSTO joint group will practice conducting a joint operation to contain a border armed conflict. They will also deal with the issues of logistics support in preparing and holding the joint operation.
The drills involve the military contingents of the CSTO member states that are comprised of mobile constant alert units and formations armed with advanced weapons and military (special) hardware, operational groups of the CSTO Joint Staff and Secretariat, special operations police forces, security agencies and special services and emergencies personnel.
Overall, the drills have brought together over 4,000 troops and more than 500 items of military hardware.
Russia’s Central Military District Commander Colonel General Alexander Lapin earlier said that the post-Soviet security bloc would conduct Interaction, Search and Echelon maneuvers with the military contingents of its member states in Tajikistan near the Afghan border in October.