Russian and Kazakh troops kick off counter-terror drills in Siberia

Russian and Kazakh troops kick off counter-terror drills in Siberia

Over 500 troops from Russia and Kazakhstan began joint company-level tactical drills at the Kara-Khaak training ground in the Republic of Tyva in Siberia, the press office of the Central Military District reported on Tuesday.

"In the course of the exercise, the military personnel of the two countries will practice assigning the troops to the collective rapid reaction forces and also preparing and conducting reconnaissance and search operations separately from the main forces, employing Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles and Mi-8 AMTSh helicopters," the press office said in a statement.

Also, the troops will employ Tigr and Taifun armored vehicles and Nona-SVK self-propelled artillery guns "to accomplish the joint tasks of eliminating notional armed gangs that have intruded into the territory of an allied state," the statement says.

As its specific feature, the exercise will engage a pack animal transportation unit as part of a mobile firing group to deliver heavy grenade launchers and mortars to hard-to-access mountain heights. This will be required to provide further fire support to defending collective quick reaction forces and eliminate the notional enemy, the press office said.

The joint Russian-Kazakh exercise aims to improve the practical skills of eliminating terrorist gangs and practice troop interoperability and work out a single scenario of combat operations, it specified.

The joint maneuvers will last through September 4 and engage over 500 troops and about 150 items of military hardware, the press office said.