Pakistani-Russian military exercise kicks off

By Monitoring Desk
Tuesday – November 10, 2020
MOSCOW (Russia): The fifth joint Pakistani-Russian military exercise Friendship-2020 kicked off, Monday, at Pakistan army’s (PA) special operations force (SOF) training ground, in the village of Tarbela.

According to a press release, The PA combat training department (CTD) head major general Nayer Nasser, Russian ambassador to Pakistan Danila Ganich and Russian side’s Friendship-2020 exercise-head colonel Alexandre Borisenko addressed the participants of the exercise.

The event began with the flag hoisting ceremony and the performance of the national anthems of Pakistan and Russia by the Pakistan military band.

More than 150 servicemen of the two countries are taking part in the event.

“This is the third joint military exercise conducted in Pakistan,” PA CTD head major general Nasser said and added, “Pakistan and Russia are united in the fight against terrorism, the friendship exercise gives us the opportunity to strengthen relations between the military personnel of the two countries.”

Russian ambassador Ganich said, “In Pakistan, the army is not just an army, it is also an institution that holds everything together. And here it is not a secret: there was a time when the army came to the fore” informing “In 1947, Pakistan was formed as an independent State, during which time — more than 20 years — the military was in power” asserting “I would say that this is the backbone of Pakistani statehood and the backbone of society — the army.”

“This is an extremely important thing, not only from the point of view of experience, but also from a social point of view, because people come here, our special forces have arrived, and they see what Pakistan is, who are Pakistani citizens, what is Pakistani psychology” adding “When Pakistanis come to Russia, they see that the Russians are not the country to be feared: it is peaceful and no one is going to attack anyone” asserting “This is the point — people get to know each other, but, of course, plus the exchange of experience,” he mentioned.

“For the first time, Russian servicemen will have to perform combat training tasks using weapons, equipment and communications equipment of the PA,” Russian side’s Friendship-2020 exercise-head colonel Borisenko said and added, “As part of the joint tasks, the military personnel of Pakistan will provide the Russian side with glock pistols, M4 assault rifles, radio stations, as well as equipment (anti-fragmentation tactical glasses, protective helmets, knee pads, body armour).”

He added, “Also for the first time, Russian and Pakistani military personnel will perform joint night firing at the training ground of PA SOF.”

Later the leaders and guests of the exercise inspected the exhibition of weapons and equipment of Pakistan’s SOF, as well as familiarised themselves with the training facilities involved in the exercise.

The Pakistani military personnel showed their Russian counterparts their small arms, optical observation and reconnaissance devices, items of military equipment, mountaineering equipment, engineering barriers, sapper protective equipment.

The video surveillance equipment, scuba diver’s equipment and technical means of communication, reconnaissance and electronic warfare aroused particular interest among Russian military personnel.

Also, Pakistani military personnel demonstrated underwater scuba diver’s equipment, underwater scooter-towing vehicle, communications equipment, parachute systems of various types.

In total, more than 100 samples of weapons were exhibited for display, including SMG and MP5SD submachine guns, M4 assault rifles of various modifications, tactical flashlights, knives of SOF, etc.

Upon completion, the leaders of the exercise got acquainted with the educational and material base involved in the joint exercise.

The joint exercise will be held on the territory of PA SOF in the locality of Tarbela (50 kilometres northwest of Islamabad), as well as at the national counter-terrorism centre (NCTC) in Pabbi.

Troops from the two countries will exchange experience in combat training missions in highlands as well as in fighting against illegal armed gangs.

From the Russian armed forces, more than 70 soldiers of the special purpose unit (SPU) of the 49th southern military district (SMD) combined arms army, stationed in Stavropol, are involved in the exercise.

The exercise is conducted in accordance with the plan of international military cooperation (IMC) and will last until November 21.

The joint exercises are aimed at strengthening and developing military cooperation between the two countries.

This year, due to the epidemiological situation world-over, the stages of the exercise will be held in compliance with all measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

All Russian military personnel were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.

In order to counteract the viral infection, the accommodation facilities of the Russian military personnel are provided with the required amount of antiseptic and protective masks.

According to a press release on Sunday, during the exercise, the military personnel of the two countries will exchange experience and work out cooperation in performing a wide range of tasks, in particular, destroying conditional illegal armed groups, conducting reconnaissance, search and ambush operations using aviation and technical intelligence tools.

Pakistani counterparts will showcase actions to storm buildings, destroy mock terrorists and free hostages, then Russian servicemen will work out similar tasks, then the servicemen will perform tasks together.

According to a press release on Friday, Russian SPUs of 49th SMD familiarised themselves with the facilities and material base at the training ground for PA SOF.

The entire base consisting of over 50 training points will be involved in the exercise.

They visited a climbing wall, a sports stadium, a martial arts hall, an obstacle course including a moat, a three-meter wall, a rope ladder, a suspension bridge, etc., as well as a psychological training zone.

The Russian servicemen examined the mountain-sports complex of the centre, which in structure resembles the Russian scout’s path. The length of the complex is up to one kilometre, it includes about 30 different obstacles, including stone walls, underground passages and fragments of city structures.