VLADIVOSTOK, September 26. /TASS/. The Russian Armed Forces have kicked off international anti-terrorist exercises in the Far Eastern Primorsky Region, together with military personnel from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and SMOA-plus dialogue partner countries, the press service of Russia’s Eastern Military District reported.
"The goals of the exercise are to strengthen and promote regional cooperation in countering terrorism, increase the level of operational interaction between ASEAN countries and their counterparts in the field of counterterrorism, and exchange experience in the field of counterterrorism. The exercise will be conducted in two stages. At the first stage, representatives of the military command authorities will determine the concept and develop a decision to conduct an anti-terrorist operation at the operational and tactical levels. At the second stage, military contingents of the [participating] countries will work together as part of a multinational contingent of troops to jointly develop practical actions in the course of the anti-terrorist operation at the Sergeyevsky firing range," the press service reported.
During the exercises, joint actions by military contingents representing Russia, Myanmar and other partner states will be practiced. Eastern Military District command authorities and units will take part in the exercise. Operational groups and military contingents from the armed forces of Brunei Darussalam, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam have been invited to practice joint actions as part of a multinational grouping of troops.
A total of about 700 servicemen, attack aircraft, army aviation helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, tanks, armored personnel carriers and other military and special equipment attached to the Eastern Military District will participate in the exercise.
SMOA-plus is a mechanism for interaction among the defense authorities of ten Southeast Asian countries as well as dialogue partner countries (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, the US), which was established in April 2010 at the initiative of Vietnam. SMOA-plus expert activities are conducted in seven expert working groups: humanitarian mine action, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, military medicine, maritime security, countering terrorism, organizing peacekeeping operations, and cyber security.