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9 Jun, 2010 21:59

CSTO military training – ready to fight

Joint forces exercise in southern Russia prepares the six Collective Security Treaty Organization countries for teaming up to defend.

The commandos involved are police teams from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia.

They’ve formed the CSTO, which also includes Uzbekistan. It's a military alliance designed to counter mutual threats from drugs and arms trafficking to terrorism – and even threats from other countries.

Some call it the new Warsaw Pact, or the “NATO of the East,” but the Collective Security Treaty Organization insists it's a purely defensive military alliance.

Its members are all CIS countries, and say they're committed to avoid the use of force wherever possible.

But that doesn't mean the CSTO military isn't preparing its methods to fight fire with fire.

The premise: Armed terrorists have equipped a base, where they’re plotting an attack.

The troops’ mission: seek and destroy.

The operation starts in the air, but as ground troops move in, one of the team is ambushed, moving the action into the field.

Over 40 various war machines and around 450 troops are taking part in the exercise. It may not seem like that much, but the fact that they are from 6 different countries makes coordination of them all one of the main objectives of this drill.

“We learn tactics from each other,” said Vladimir Gormukov of the Russian special forces. “We have a chance to see the weapons and get acquainted. So, if we need to perform real tasks, we know who is going to stand to the left and who is going to the right. I have no doubt that shoulder to shoulder and arm to arm we will be able to fulfill the assigned tasks.”

The CSTO has held drills before, including one involving 4,000 troops back in 2008.

But what’s new this time is the support the guys on the ground get from the air.

“This is an unmanned aircraft,” aviation center employee Aleksey told RT. “It has a unique ability to fly almost silently at a height of 150 meters. It would be impossible to see this drone. It is equipped with a video and a photo camera which produces better quality pictures, but the photographs are available only after landing, while the video can be watched in real time.”

Practice mission complete: terrorists captured, the hostages released.

These troops have to be prepared for rapid deployment to any CSTO member state, and ensuring they can work together is vital to the regional security they’re expected to defend in the field.