Russian paratroopers will meet up with American forces next month for an unprecedented military exercise in Colorado, according to RT News.It’s the first time Russian service members will be invited into the United States for a joint drill.
A Russian airborne task force will “exercise with U.S. special service weapons,” an announcement by Russian defence Ministry spokesperson Col. Aleksandr Kucherenko revealed.
The official purpose of the joint training is to practice airborne tactics and anti-terror operations, such as dropping into a hostile area and conducting a “terrorist camp raid.”
“Soldiers of the two countries will hold a tactical airborne operation, including reconnaissance of an imaginary terrorists’ camp and a raid,” said Kucherenko.
It’s worth noting the Russians will have access to U.S. military weapons training at the Army’s Fort Carson — “Home of America’s Best” — ahead of the scheduled May 24-31 drills. They’ll also be trained to understand and operate hardware used by U.S. forces in airborne missions including “parachuting, operation planning, reconnaissance, assault operations and evacuations by helicopter.”
This announcement comes at a time when Russia actually has troops working in cooperation with China.
A joint naval drill in the Yellow Sea is currently underway, with Xinhuanet reporting the military exercises are focused on sea-to-air defence, anti-submarine warfare, recovery of hijacked vessels and shooting down aerial, maritime and underwater targets.
With 25 vessels and 13 aircraft deployed for the drill, it’s reportedly one of the largest Russian-Sino drills in recent history. Xinhuanet reports:
Four Russian warships from the Pacific fleet, including the aircraft carrier Varyag are also participating in the drills. Missile destroyers, missile frigates, missile boats, a support vessel and a hospital ship gathered from China’s side for the drills.
But while Russia and China join forces for this week’s Yellow Sea exercise, America isn’t standing by idly. The U.S. military is conducting its own annual drills and war games in the Asia Pacific region — much to the displeasure of Chinese officials.
Manuel Mogato at Reuters reports U.S. Marines, partnered with Philippine troops, took part in a drill simulating an “assault to retake a small island” — a little too close to reality for China, which has been embroiled in a dispute with the Philippines, and other neighbours, over contested territory around the South China Sea.
Mogato reports China warned that the US-Philippines war gaming would “raise the risk of armed conflict.”
But so far there’s no official word from Beijing about what it thinks of its Russian ally traipsing over to Colorado next month. Perhaps the Chinese government has a keen interest in the upcoming American-Russian drills and is keeping quiet for the sake of learning something from Russia following the U.S.-hosted exercises at Fort Carson.
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