UNIPATH STAFF | photos by SGT. 1ST CLASS TY MCNEELEY/U.S. ARMY
Tajik and U.S. Army troops spent three weeks together in April 2018 sharing border security and mountain warfare skills. The engagement culminated in joint missions between the Tajikistan Peacekeeping Battalion of the Mobile Forces and the 648th Military Engagement Team of the Georgia Army National Guard.
“The Soldiers who have come here have good experience of field training exercises,” said Capt. Islomzoda Fakhriddin, commander of the Tajik peacekeeping battalion. “Most of them have taken part in combat field training and actual combat. … It’s a great honor for us to get to train along with them.”
The Soldiers needed to negotiate Tajikistan’s mountainous terrain. Mountain climbing and rappelling — often toting heavy gear — was part of the mix. The Americans appreciated how their Tajik partners prepared for the often harsh conditions at high elevations.
“We came into this expecting a little bit of rain up here; we were definitely surprised this morning when we drove up and there was a significant amount of snow on the ground,” U.S. Army 1st Lt. Gregory Wilcoxen said. “The Tajiks understand certainly that the weather isn’t always going to cooperate, and that can affect what we do.”
In one 24-hour mission with their U.S. partners, the Tajiks conducted reconnaissance to capture would-be terrorists who had scrambled into a valley to avoid a traffic control point.
“This is … one of the ways that we can build a good relationship, by exchanging our tactical trainings,” Capt. Fakhriddin said. “And in the future, I want these kinds of exercises to be conducted more often, especially in such terrain.”
Source: U.S. Army Central