Kazakhstan is taking the fight against terrorism to the Caspian Sea, opening a coastal naval headquarters that will coordinate and conduct military operations against potential threats to shipping and oil and gas installations.
“To date, all headquarters that operate in the state cover only the terrestrial territory. We do not have staffs on the sea side. Therefore, legislatively, we want to consolidate the possibility of carrying out anti-terrorist measures at sea,” said Daulet Yergozhin, deputy chairman of the National Security Committee, which approved the new naval headquarters.
The headquarters’ responsibilities will include protecting offshore platforms and seagoing ships and suppressing terrorist activity in the coastal regions. In September 2017, Yergozhin presented plans for the headquarters with the aim of making it operational as early as 2018.
“As of today, such work is completely done by the National Security Committee’s Border Service. If necessary, we interact with other law enforcement agencies, as well as with the Armed Forces. But considering that the threat of a terrorist attack in the world, as you can see, is growing, we need to create the appropriate headquarters to strengthen coordination,” he said.
The Caspian is economically vital not just for its shipping lanes and fisheries, but its mineral wealth.
“We have many offshore deposits such as Kashagan [oil field] and artificial islands. Gas and oil are produced under conditions of high temperatures and great pressure,” Yergozhin said. “These are so-called terrorist vulnerable objects, and we must protect them.” Source: The Nation