DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN, July 17, 2017 —
More than 200 participants from five nations are participating in a multinational annual command-post exercise Regional Cooperation 2017 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, July 12-21, 2017.
Hosted by Tajikistan’s Ministry of Defense, the exercise affords participants the opportunity to conduct a command post exercise that focuses on counterterrorism, border security and peacekeeping operations. During RC 17, service members from U.S. Central Command will train alongside the armed forces of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mongolia and observers from Kazakhstan.
“Annual exercises such as Regional Cooperation allow our U.S. service members and partner nations to build interoperability and strengthen relationships,” said U.S. Army Major Robert McCracken, RC17 exercise planner. “We don’t always get to work side-by-side with partner nations until a real-world situation occurs; however, RC 17 affords us and those nations a prime opportunity to learn from each other, and to train and develop relationships to prepare for future missions.
The annual exercise is targeted at promoting cooperation and interoperability between nations, enhancing the responsiveness between multinational organizations and is intended to build a functional capacity to address mutual security concerns.
“To conduct such international training that gives us the opportunity to communicate with the different representatives from each country give us huge pleasure,” said Mongolian Army Maj. Amartaivan.D, public affairs officer. “The training will provide us with the chance to learn from one another’s experiences.”
Amartaivan.D also stated that the training will test each nation’s ability to respond to situations quickly.
“We should be ready for anything,” she said. “We should be ready in any circumstance to learn what the exercise has to offer.”
During RC 17 service members from each country will work side-by-side to develop combined military operations in response to scenarios throughout the 10-day exercise. In addition to the command-post exercise, a five-day bilateral field training exercise will be conducted between U.S. and Tajik service members near Fakhrabad, Tajikistan.
RC 17 is U.S. CENTCOM’s largest military-to-military exercise in the region. The exercise aims to strengthen partner relationships while allowing U.S. service members to train on their technical proficiencies.
Regional Cooperation has been conducted annually since 2001; the last exercise was held Sept. 16-28, 2016, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.