Russian-Led Rapid Force Holds First Military Exercise

18 October 2009 (Last Updated October 18th, 2009 18:30)

Military drills involving more than 7,000 troops, 90 aircraft and heavy artillery have been conducted near the Kyrgyz border as Russia unveiled its new rapid action force. The Russian-led collective operational reaction force (CORF) is designed to combat terrorist sieges and is aprt of

Military drills involving more than 7,000 troops, 90 aircraft and heavy artillery have been conducted near the Kyrgyz border as Russia unveiled its new rapid action force.

The Russian-led collective operational reaction force (CORF) is designed to combat terrorist sieges and is aprt of efforts to strengthen the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).

The CSTO is a seven-nation grouping touted as a counterweight to the Nato alliance, which aims to ward off aggression by extremists, terrorists and drug traffickers against any member of the group.

The exercises featured field drills in two battle scenarios, which included intercepting men on horseback in a mountain setting and paratroopers saving hostages from militants.

The drills also used a set of tanks to broadcast mock distress cries over loudspeakers to seek the help of Kazakh forces.

CORF comprises military and disaster control contingents from five signatory states that include Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.