Intl. peacekeeping exercise to start in Kazakhstan on Sept. 14
An international peacekeeping exercise called Steppe Eagle 2009 will be held on September 14-26 in Kazakhstan, the republic's Defense Ministry said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.
It said the "active phase" of the annual exercise, designed to "foster military cooperation between the parties involved," would take place on September 22-24 at the Iliysk training ground.
"Over 1,300 military personnel from Kazakhstan, as well as Britain and the United States, will participate," the ministry said.
The main goals of the annual exercise are to "test the peacekeeping capability of Kazakh and NATO troops," improve command and control, and evaluate the readiness of the Kazakh peacekeeping battalion (Kazbat) to take part in NATO-led operations.
The first Steppe Eagle exercise was carried out by Kazakhstan and NATO in September 2006.