U.S., British troops to train with Kazakh forces

A Kazakh soldier

From Robin Paxton, Reuters:  British and U.S. troops will join Kazakh forces for 10 days of military exercises from Monday, culminating in a mock peacekeeping operation to strengthen links between the three countries on Central Asian soil.

More than 1,000 military personnel, including a large contingent from the air mobile force of the Kazakh armed forces, are expected to take part in the eighth annual ‘Steppe Eagle’ exercises, the Kazakh Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The multinational exercise, part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme, was launched in 2003, a ministry spokesman said. Military observers from several countries are expected to attend, the ministry said on its website, www.mod.gov.kz. "The exercise is intended to assist Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defence in its stated aim to generate a NATO inter-operable peace support operational capability, which may be deployed on U.N.-mandated peace support operations," British Defence Attache Simon Fitzgibbon told Reuters.  (photo: Chris Fletcher/UK MoD/Strike-Hold!)

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