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Kazakh, British, U.S. Troops Open Drills


The "Steppe Eagle" drills are being held as part of Kazakhstan's participation in NATO's Partnership For Peace program.

The "Steppe Eagle" drills are being held as part of Kazakhstan's participation in NATO's Partnership For Peace program.

Kazakh, British and U.S. troops are teaming up for 10 days of joint military exercises.

The Kazakh Defense Ministry said in a statement that more than 1,000 military personnel, including a large contingent from the air mobile force of Kazakhstan's military, are expected to take part in the eighth annual "Steppe Eagle" exercises at the Iliysky military range around Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty.

The Defense Ministry said the annual drills, being held as part of NATO's Partnership For Peace program, are expected to be attended by military observers from a number of countries.

Kazakhstan's "Kazbrig" peacekeeping brigade and "Kazbat" air mobile forces infantry battalion are expected to participate.

British Defense Attache Simon Fitzgibbon told the Reuters news agency that this year's exercises are intended to help Kazakhstan develop forces capable of joining NATO forces in possible United Nations-backed peace support missions.

compiled from agency reports

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