ASTANA – The second stage of the Kanzhar (Dagger) 2023 joint military exercises of the Kazakh and Uzbek armed forces took place in Aktau, Kazakhstan’s Defense Ministry reported on Aug. 12.
Kazakh Defense Minister Ruslan Zhaksylykov and Uzbek Defense Minister Bakhodir Kurbanov watched the escalation of the exercise aimed at developing interoperability and a response method in case of a terrorist threat and at ensuring military security in Central Asia.
Uzbekistan conducted the exercise’s first command and staff training stage with automated battle simulations earlier this month.
The second stage at the Aktau garrison’s Oymash training range in the Mangystau Region involved night and day combative training in natural conditions complicated by high air temperature and dustiness.
According to the exercise’s scenario, international terrorist organizations have increased their regional presence, establishing base areas and burying arms and ammunition caches to provide drug trafficking routes.
Kazakhstan’s and Uzbekistan’s joint special forces detachment was assigned to detect, localize, and liquidate the illegally armed groups.
Air observers gave pilots the exact location of one of the militant bases after a special squad discovered the target via drones. Backed by army aviation, a second group of special forces destroyed the mock enemy by raiding the base of the militants following orders.
The training was held under close-to-war conditions, involving artillery and anti-aircraft systems, helicopters, planes, and unmanned aerial vehicles.