Drawing: Cobra Drawing: Cobra

Image: MI-8 Hip Helicopter

MI-8 Hip Helicopter

Kazakhstan, 10 September 2000 — Kazakhstan officials, in a Kazan Mi-8 helicopter, fly into the drop zone area during an international mass jump into Kazakhstan. Paratroopers from Kazakhstan, the United States and Turkey are descending into Kazakhstan to prepare for the the start of CENTRASBAT 2000. The Central Asian Peacekeeping Battalion exercise CENTRASBAT 2000 is a multi-national peacekeeping and humanitarian relief exercise sponsored by U.S. CENTCOM and hosted by the former the Soviet Republic Kazakhstan in Central Asia. Exercise participants include approximately 300 U.S. troops including personnel from U.S. CENTCOM, from the U.S. Army`s 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and approximately 300 Kazakhstan soldiers. Other participating nations include: Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, The United Kingdom, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Mongolia. The objective of CENTRASBAT is to strengthen military to military relationships and regional security, and to increase interoperability between NATO and partner nations. CENTRASBAT originated in 1996, and was concepted to form a battalion of soldiers from the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan to serve as a key component in developing a regional security and cooperation structure. The exercise will test U.S. and Central Asian units combat readiness and ability to conduct peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, as well as develop and build cooperative relationships between the respective states and assist in laying the foundation for future peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

Photo taken by TSGT Jim Varhegyi, USAF

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Updated: 31 December 2008 Born on 26 September 2001