Russia’s Defense Ministry will hold large-scale drills of two armies with the creation of coalition force groupings in the Central Asian strategic area, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said at the ministry’s board meeting on Wednesday.

The Command of Russia’s Central Military District continues improving the troops’ command and control and training system in the Central Asian strategic area. Special attention is paid to force-on-force drills, and also to the comprehensive approach towards resolving issues: from the response to crisis situations and military threat emergence to strategic operations’ planning, the defense minister stressed.

“The number of measures stipulated for this year has grown by 13% for operational training, by 9% for mobilization training and by 36% for combat training. This will result in a force-on-force command and staff field exercise of two armies with the creation of coalition force groupings,” Shoigu said.

The Central Military District is training military command centers and troops in accomplishing missions in the Central Asian strategic direction in close cooperation with the armed forces of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), according to Russia’s defense chief.

“Let me note that the number of joint training measures has grown by 14% compared to last year,” Shoigu informed.

The Central Military District is the largest in Russia. It is based on the territory of the Volga, Urals and Siberian integrated federal districts and 29 Russian regions. Structurally, the Central Military District also includes some overseas facilities: the 201st military base in Tajikistan, the Kant integrated military base in Kyrgyzstan and units stationed on the territory of Kazakhstan.

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