Airmobile Forces

On 07 May 2003 the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbaev issued a Decree “On measures on further improvement of the Armed Forces structure”. On the base of Mobile forces there was created a new branch of forces – Aero Mobile forces. Airmobile Forces are the reserve of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the country. They designed for operational response to crisis situations under the quick changes in military-political situation, and implementation of urgent tasks with the aim to protect national interests of the country and reinforcement of forces on the operational directions. They can contribute to the meeting of international commitments of the Republic of Kazakhstan on peace and stability support both inside and outside the country. The have to be in full combat readiness for deployment to the challenged directions and regions to fulfill urgent tasks both in the peace and war time.

Airmobile forces may take part in fulfillment international obligations of the Republic of Kazakhstan on peace and stability support in the country as well as abroad. They are in permanent combat readiness and maybe deployed into threatening areas to fulfill rapidly emerging tasks in both in peace and war times.

35th Air Assault Brigade Kapshagai
36th Air Assault Brigade Astana
37th Air Assault Brigade Taldykorgan
38th Air Assault Brigade KAZBRIGAlmaty
Airmobile forces consist of air assault detachments, small and big units, as well as special units, logistics and technical maintenance units. Separate engineering detachment of special purpose of Airmobile forces had been fulfilling peacekeeping mission in Iraq in composition of Coalition Forces. Professionalism and battle skills of peacekeepers had been highly evaluated by commanding staff of the Coalition Forces.

After September 11th, 2001, the Kazakh Armed Forces began to experience rapid transformation at the upper levels. This transformation was heavily influenced by the Kazakh Armed Forces exposure to NATO. This transformation included transitioning to a three branch military with a Ground Forces (branch), Air Force, and newly established Navy. A new entity was formed in the Kazakh Armed Forces, known as the “Airmobile Forces,” a structure with no basis on Soviet/Russian doctrine that was intended to be more interoperable with NATO.

Russia was not an enthusiastic supporter of the creation of the Kazakh Navy or Airmobile Forces. Russia has not supported the Airmobile Forces as they are perceived to be an entity designed to work with NATO. Russia has no desire to support NATO interoperability with forces in its periphery.

After September 11th 2001, the U.S. increased Security Assistance to Kazakhstan. One program that benefited was the Kazakh Airmobile Force’s newly developed “KAZBAT” unit, created in 2000 for the conduct of peacekeeping operations. The US has heavily supported this unit through training and equipment support, and it was eventually deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002. Kazakhstan has been keen to trumpet its participation in Iraq and development of the Kazakh Peace Keeping Brigade (KAZBRIG), although it will require further development to be capable deploying to conduct peacekeeping operations.

A small part of the military, intended for operations abroad, will be westernized. Kazakhstan is developing the KazakhPeace Keeping Brigade (KAZBRIG) and authorities want that unit to be able to operate well with the western militaries with which it will cooperate in those ventures. KAZBRIG is a professional, well led force with hard, fit and determined soldiers. Soldiers from Third Army/U.S. Army Central worked alongside representatives from the United States, Kazakhstan, and British Armies during the multinational exercise, Steppe Eagle. The KAZBRIG's 1st Battalion went through a NATO exercise in 2008 and the 2009 Steppe Eagle worked with 2nd Battalion and the brigade headquarters, KAZBRIG. A third battalion was to stand up in the future. KAZBRIG, however, is only a paper brigade as of 2012, since the second battalion is partially formed, and the third battalion has no personnel; the mainstay of the force remains the 1st battalion KAZBAT. Since the KAZBRIG is structured within NATO standards, their goal is to be deployable anywhere and to blend in with a coalition, NATO or UN peacekeeping force.

In February 2012 Battalion tactical exercises started from Taldykorgan city. Despite difficult weather conditions, battalion of Taldykorgan brigade of Airmobile Forces moved to the "Koktal" training center. The personnel was placed in operational readiness and began to advance into the area of the exercises. The active phase was held in February 15-16. The maneuvers involved 250 paratroopers and about 80 units of military and special equipment.

The joint anti-terrorism military command post exercise "Peace Mission 2012" was held on the training ground Chorukh-Dayron in Tajikistan. The exercise is held under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Along with counterparts from China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan Minister of Defense of Kazakhstan Adilbek Dzhaksybekov arrived in the area of exercise to observe the maneuvers of joint military troops. Kazakhstan was presented by representatives of air assault brigade of Airmobile Forces and Air Force of Air Defense Forces of Kazakhstan. In the episode on the prosecution and destruction of conventional disparate groups of terrorists Kazakhstan tactical teams landed in a mountainous area from two Mi-17 helicopters. Also, representatives of Airmobile Forces along with units from other countries participating in exercise conducted a special operation on destroying illegal armed contingent in the village and carried out persecution of the retreating enemy groups.

Representatives of Airmobile Forces of Kazakhstan brought reconnaissance vehicles “Cobra” by AN-12 aircraft to area of exercise. These vehicles had been adopted into the arsenal of Land Forces this year. The vehicles performed their intended purposes - conducting special operations and reconnaissance. The participants of the exercise from other countries have appreciated the quality work of Kazakhstani "Cobra" and professionalism of their crews.

The main goal of the exercise was achieved: the algorithm of work of the military authorities of the SCO member states in preparation of joint anti-terror operations in mountainous terrain was improved. Minister of Defense of Kazakhstan Adilbek Dzhaksybekov outlined the obvious use of joint exercises in his speech. “Exercise "Peace Mission-2012" within the SCO once again demonstrated the will, determination and ability of the armed forces of the SCO member states in the joint fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism. We managed to work out all the aims of the exercise and to increase the level of cooperation between our armed forces on ensuring security in the region,” Adilbek Dzhaksybekov said. “The exercise reflected the high level of mutual trust and practical cooperation of SCO member states, demonstrating their goal to maintain regional peace and stability and to ensure development and prosperity.”

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