The fifth joint Russian-Pakistani military exercise Friendship-2020 kicks off in Pakistan
The fifth joint Russian-Pakistani military exercise "Friendship-2020" kicks off on the training ground of the special operations forces of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the village of Tarbela. More than 150 servicemen of the two countries take part in the event.
The event began with the flag hoisting ceremony and the performance of the national anthems of Pakistan and Russia by the Pakistan military band.
The ceremony was attended by the head of the combat training department of the army of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Major General Nayer Nasser, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Danila Ganich, the head of the exercise from the Russian side, Colonel Alexandre Borisenko, as well as the military attaché at the Embassy of the Russian Federation Alexander Fedotov.
The head of the combat training department of the Pakistan army and the Ambassador of the Russian Federation addressed the participants of the exercise with parting words.
“This is the third joint military exercise conducted in Pakistan,” said Major General Nayer Nasser. - 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".
Then the leaders and guests of the exercise inspected the exhibition of weapons and equipment of Pakistan's special operations forces, as well as familiarized themselves with the training facilities involved in the exercise.
“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. In 1947, Pakistan was formed as an independent state, during which time - more than 20 years - the military was in power. I would say that this is the backbone of Pakistani statehood and the backbone of society - the army”, - said Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Danila Ganich.
“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. 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. This is the point - people get to know each other, but, of course, plus the exchange of experience”, - said Danila Ganich.
After the ceremonial part, 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. 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 special operations forces, 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 the special operations forces of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the locality of Tarbala (50 km northwest of Islamabad), as well as at the National counter-terrorism center in Pabbi of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
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 Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, more than 70 soldiers of the special purpose unit of the 49th 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 and will last until November 21.
The joint exercises are aimed at strengthening and developing military cooperation of the two countries.
This year, due to the epidemiological situation in the world, the stages of the exercise will be held in compliance with all measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus 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.
The joint Russian-Pakistani military exercise Friendship has been held since 2016, in which military personnel from the Russian Armed Forces take part in motorized rifle units and special purpose units of SMD stationed in Karachay-Cherkess and Stavropol.
In 2020, the fifth joint Russian-Pakistani exercise Friendship-2020 takes place, the first exercise was held in Pakistan. This is the third joint military exercise to be held in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and two more were held on the territory of SMD-in the Kuban and in the mountainous area of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic.
The exercises involve over 150 troops from the two countries.