An annual two-week-long multinational regional military exercise, dubbed Regional Cooperation (RC) 2017, was launched in Tajikistan on July 10.
“Tajikistan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) is in overall command of the exercise involving more than 20 servicemen of Kyrgyz, Mongolian, Pakistani, Tajik, and U.S. forces, as well as observers from Kazakhstan,” Faridoun Mahmadalizoda, a spokesman for Tajikistan’s MoD, told Asia-Plus in an interview.
Representatives of media can observe the command-post exercise in progress at Kokhi Afsaron on July 19.
The RC 17 exercise, which is being conducted in Dushanbe from July 10 to 23, is a simulated peacekeeping operation in response to a UN mandate focusing on counter-terrorism, border security, coordination for disaster response, and stability operations. Each country has contributed service members who are working together to plan combined military operations driven by several potential scenarios.
The training provided during RC 17 reportedly promotes cooperation and interoperability, builds functional capacity to address mutual security concerns, and enhances responsiveness between multi-national organizations.
In addition, U.S. and Tajik troops will conduct bilateral field training exercises near Fakhrobod from July 17 to 21.
Several combat helicopters of the Tajik MoD are expected to be involved in the Tajik-U.S. bilateral field training exercises near Fakhrobod, according to Faridoun Mahmadalizoda.
This year’s Regional Cooperation exercise focuses on stability operations, border security, border control, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, and counter-proliferation.
The Regional Cooperation exercise series has been conducted annually since 2001; the last RC exercise was held September 16-28, 2016, in Massachusetts.