Led by Colonel Saidakhtam Odinazoda, the special operations group of the General Staff of Tajikistan’s Armed Forces is participating in special tactical peacekeeping exercise, dubbed Steppe Eagle-2018, which is being conducted at the McCrady training site in South Carolina of the United States, Colonel Faridoun Mahmadalizoda, told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

The main purpose of the exercise is to improve the practical skills of the officers and personnel to participate in UN peacekeeping operations as well as to improve combat coordination among international contingents involved in peacekeeping operations.

“Our servicemen are studying experience of other countries in carrying out peacekeeping operations,” Mahmadalizoda said.  

Servicemen of Kazakhstan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are reportedly participating in Steppe Eagle-2018.

International participation in the Steppe Eagle exercises has mushroomed since 2003, when only Kazakhstani, British and US troops participated.  A decade later, troops from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Tajikistan, Ukraine, the United States and Switzerland took part in Steppe Eagle–2012.  Since 2006, Steppe Eagle exercises have been conducted under NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) program.