Second Stage of Steppe Eagle 2015 Drills Launch near Almaty

ASTANA – The second phase of the Steppe Eagle 2015 peacekeeping exercises began June 15 at the Ili training area near Almaty, reported the Kazakh Ministry of Defence press service.image

A feature of the second phase of exercise Steppe Eagle 2015 is the preparation of the headquarters of peacekeeping units in the form of command and staff training.

Command-staff computer-simulation training will take place by using the JCATS software programme. The programme manages the process on the computer, including planning, management and the application of units without the expense of motor sources and ammunition and the carrying out of the planned operation. This software programme has been available since the 1980s and is used in modelling and simulation by the militaries to determine possible outcomes for force-on-force training.

The Kazakh Ministry of Defence has said the basis for the first phase of Steppe Eagle exercise was checking the performance of the Kazbat peacekeeping battalion in executing tasks with multinational forces and a unified command in accordance with multidisciplinary peacekeeping operations.

This year marked the 13th time the exercise was held. The first exercise took place in 2003 as a trilateral drill involving troops from Kazakhstan, the U.K. and the U.S. The number of participating countries has since doubled and includes several additional European and Central Asian states.

Annually, exercises involved more than 1,500 people as well as military observers from foreign states, experts from various NATO headquarters and military-diplomatic corps accredited in Kazakhstan.

In consultation with NATO member states, Kazakhstan continues to develop a conceptual framework to reform the defence and security sector and promote basic reform projects in the Ministry of Defence. Cooperation between Kazakhstan and NATO is based on enhancing capabilities of the airmobile forces and navy. Parties continue to work together to develop a peacekeeping battalion, which will be able operate in partnership with forces from NATO member states.